RE: Typeface for print and online documentation

Subject: RE: Typeface for print and online documentation
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2001 16:53:16 -0400

I can't say I prefer one or the other until I have them on the page . . .
there are well-crafted examples of both serif and sans serif fonts. I do,
personally, find serif fonts interesting, they have character, and dress-up
the printed page . . . if that is important to you. Maybe my eye is guded by
the serifs to speedier reading and comprehension, maybe I've read about one
too many font surveys? I cannot help but find some sans serif fonts, in
print, like the aforementioned Verdana, to be lifeless and vague, akin to
using all-caps, dull and uninteresting to the eye, if not actively boring.
Of course, at 96dpi, your options are limited, aren't they <vbg>.

However, much of this is quite subjective. In an earlier post I mentioned
testing and readability. What I meant was, don't ask the participants what
they think is easier to read, or prettier. I'm not sure, in absolute terms,
everybody is qualified to answer that. What do they base their opinion on,
the fact that for a sentence, they prefer an exaggerated x-height? Perhaps,
because they are being asked to evaluate the readability of a font, the
participant sees an attractive letter "a" and concludes the font must be
more readable because obviously someone has spent some considerable time
crafting that particular letter. Perhaps they think the font is more
readable because it is called "Chevy" not "Ford," who knows?

Instead, pass out books in the test fonts. After the participants have read
the material, test to see how well they really read the material . . .. That
is the kind of thing I mean. Of course, I'm certainly no expert, this is an
expensive proposition, and I am waaaay out of my depth in usability testing
(as well as fonts) now . . . so I'll shut up <vbg>.

sean -at- quodata -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Teasdale, Steven (IndSys,Pwr Mgt,UR)
> [SMTP:Steven -dot- Teasdale -at- indsys -dot- ge -dot- com]
> P.S. I prefer sans-serif for manuals as well


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