Tags: legibility

12

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Friday, February 9th, 2018

Everything Easy is Hard Again – Frank Chimero

I wonder if I have twenty years of experience making websites, or if it is really five years of experience, repeated four times.

I saw Frank give this talk at Mirror Conf last year and it resonated with me so so much. I’ve been looking forward to him publishing the transcript ever since. If you’re anything like me, this will read as though it’s coming from directly inside your head.

In one way, it is easier to be inexperienced: you don’t have to learn what is no longer relevant. Experience, on the other hand, creates two distinct struggles: the first is to identify and unlearn what is no longer necessary (that’s work, too). The second is to remain open-minded, patient, and willing to engage with what’s new, even if it resembles a new take on something you decided against a long time ago.

I could just keep quoting the whole thing, because it’s all brilliant, but I’ll stop with one more bit about the increasing complexity of build processes and the decreasing availability of a simple view source:

Illegibility comes from complexity without clarity. I believe that the legibility of the source is one of the most important properties of the web. It’s the main thing that keeps the door open to independent, unmediated contributions to the network. If you can write markup, you don’t need Medium or Twitter or Instagram (though they’re nice to have). And the best way to help someone write markup is to make sure they can read markup.

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

Accessibility Whack-A-Mole · An A List Apart Article

A fascinating piece by Eleanor on the typographic tweaking that the Wellcome team did to balance the competing needs of different users.

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

Why do pull quotes exist on the web?

There you are reading an article when suddenly it’s interrupted by a big piece of text that’s repeating something you just read in the previous paragraph. Or it’s interrupted by a big piece of text that’s spoiling a sentence that you are about to read in subsequent paragraphs.

There you are reading an article when suddenly it’s interrupted by a big piece of text that’s repeating something you just read in the previous paragraph.

To be honest, I find pull quotes pretty annoying in printed magazines too, but I can at least see the justification for them there: if you’re flipping through a magazine, they act as eye-catching inducements to stop and read (in much the same way that good photography does or illustration does). But once you’re actually reading an article, they’re incredibly frustrating.

You either end up learning to blot them out completely, or you end up reading the same sentence twice.

You either end up learning to blot them out completely, or you end up reading the same sentence twice. Blotting them out is easier said than done on a small-screen device. At least on a large screen, pull quotes can be shunted off to the side, but on handheld devices, pull quotes really make no sense at all.

Are pull quotes online an example of a skeuomorph? “An object or feature which imitates the design of a similar artefact made from another material.”

I think they might simply be an example of unexamined assumptions. The default assumption is that pull quotes on the web are fine, because everyone else is doing pull quotes on the web. But has anybody ever stopped to ask why? It was this same spiral of unexamined assumptions that led to the web drowning in a sea of splash pages in the early 2000s.

I think they might simply be an example of unexamined assumptions.

I’m genuinely curious to hear the design justification for pull quotes on the web (particularly on mobile), because as a reader, I can give plenty of reasons for their removal.

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Legibility App

A handy tool for testing the legibility of different typefaces under all sorts of conditions.

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Typography for User Interfaces | Viljami Salminen

The history and physiology of text on screen. You can also see the slides from the talk that prompted this article.

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Logical breakpoints for your responsive design

Vasilis examines the multitude of factors that could influence an ideal measure.

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Prototyping Responsive Typography

Some handy tips for starting off your responsive designs from the type out.

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Test page for -webkit-font-smoothing | Christoph Zillgens

This handy matrix shows the effect of different -webkit-font-smoothing setting on various text combinations (serif/san-serif light/dark, etc.).

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

41Latitude - Google Maps & Label Readability

An examination into the legibility of labels on online mapping services.

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Read Regular / Introduction

A forthcoming typeface designed specifically to help people with dyslexia read and write more effectively.

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Erik Spiekermann | design mind

Erik Spiekermann expounding on the beauty – and the difficulty – of designing numbers.

Friday, December 16th, 2005

The Anatomy of Web Fonts [Design Principles]

Andy Hume has written a superb article about typography on the Web.