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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
"Gill, Kathy" <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 11 May 1999 15:10:05 -0700
"Gill, Kathy" <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (67 lines)
Hi, Johan,

As we discussed offlist -- ultimately the heart readability issue [font
size/face/colors] should be left in the hands of the end-user, IMO.

That is, the designer should design to accomodate reading needs/physical
constraints of the person visiting the site -- the permutations aren't
endless, but there are quite a few combos [relative to screen rez, Macs v.
PCs, 'computer' fonts versus 'print' fonts, fonts spec'ed that aren't on the
end user machine, oh yes age of the user, yadda yadda]. Then there's WebTV,
PalmPilots and now <horrors> a web reader for a Motorola phone.

Classic readability research looks at font type, size, line length and
leading - as well as sometimes "negative/positive" [ie, traditional
black-on-white or white-on-black] or other color/contrast combos.

Given that on the web ALL of these are variable -- in that the site visitor
has ultimate control over browser preferences -- perhaps our designs should
focus on accommodation. The output device is just too variable. IMO.

That said, designers can certainly negatively affect readability by spec'ing
absolute font sizes and really LONG line lengths (via the use of tables).

And I repeat myself, for the benefit of the list:
Font size =1 on a Macintosh at 1024 rez is NOT readable to my over age 40
eyes. Especially when the font spec'd isn't on my system (often the case
with sites created with windows gui-type html editors).


Kathy E. Gill
AT&T Wireless, NBO Deployment
Redmond Town Center, Bldg 4, 3155B
mailto:[log in to unmask]

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of
conversation.  -- Plato

> ----------
> From:         Johan 'jojje'
> Thorngren[SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> At first I was disappointed at this list from the opinions it gave. I am
> only
> looking for facts. I wrote I work as a Art Director so I would not get the
> comments about DPI and that nothing is fixed and so on. I wrote I worked
> with
> the web for a few years (since 1994) so I know all that history and
> technical
> restraints. I know all techniques available, I know what you can do. But
> its
> not about that.
> So once again, I ask. Is there any more hard numbers on readability issues
> when
> it comes to text on the screen.