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Guest post by James Gorski
Any good product is built with the help of excellent user interface (UI) and top-notch user experience (UX).
While UI is fairly straightforward, UX isn’t. You cannot judge the UX of a product by taking a single look at it. Time and time again, UX must prove to be credible in order for a product to be called great.
When you consider the fundamental concepts of user experience, you can understand that typography is one of them.
UX is equally dependent on typography (it’s also dependent on content strategy, usability, and functionality). Though the importance of fonts is increasing, many people tend to not pay them much attention. And the widespread use of templates is one of the reasons for this.
This needs to change, however. You need to pay attention to the fonts you use, as fonts exert massive influence over the overall user experience.
Here are a few ways that fonts relate to UX and can make it better:
Fonts help you establish tone and voice.
The type of font you use helps you convey certain emotions to your readers. Times New Roman, for example, holds more formal appeal while Comic Sans is more casual, friendly, and charming. Therefore, the type of font you pick plays an influential role in the user experience, as you can influence users’ interpretations of your products and offers.
Font size plays a huge role when it comes to websites, products, and applications.
The effects of aging drastically reduce older people’s ability to read smaller fonts. So for older audiences, using small fonts with low contrast is a recipe for disaster. As a matter of fact, text with a small font and low contrast is one of the most common complaints from older web users.
Therefore, to make your text more accessible, you need to focus on improving its readability. You should use bigger font sizes and avoid using fonts that are overly stylized or unconventional. Also, the font you choose should help set the overall tone of your text.
Font type also determines how easy-to-understand your text is.
A study conducted by Google and IBM revealed that Georgia, a serif font, helped users read 7.9% faster than the sans-serif font Helvetica. Therefore, the type of font you choose can influence both your text’s readability and the credibility of your applications, products, or website.
A font type’s influential ability is most apparent on a website or application that requires users to read a lot of text. So for enhanced UX, font choice should be carefully considered, which isn’t to say that you need to stick to only the most popular fonts.
You can choose to use a font that isn’t commonly used. However, check and test the overall readability and UX of that font several times before finalizing your decision.
With an increasing number of font choices available, you’ll never run out of options. Just, if you use a template, don’t blindly stick to the font it came with.
Fonts can influence people.
Numerous studies have revealed that the font you use can alter people’s mental perceptions. Certain font choices can be alienating while others can be more inviting or persuasive.
The font choice you use along with the overall design of a text can help shape people’s opinions and perceptions pertaining to a particular topic. For example, if you present an opinion on a critical social issue in a font with low contrast and less readability, people may skip over it or not pay much attention to it. Whereas if you present even a trivial issue in a readable and clear font, it will likely gain more attention.
Font color is another important issue when it comes to UX.
Using an unusual combination, like grey text on a white background, might potentially work if the content is viewed indoors. However, if someone accesses the content while they’re outside on the go, the visibility will be lower and it may be challenging for users to read the text.
Therefore, you need to understand that picking the right font color, size, and type are all very important factors when it comes to the user experience.
About the author: In addition to being the editor at designrfix and writing about tech, web, and graphic design, James loves to “unplug” and spend time outdoors hiking and enjoying nature. And if you can’t reach him, it’s probably because where he is doesn’t have cell phone reception.