RE: RE : RE: Your thoughts on punctuation?

Subject: RE: RE : RE: Your thoughts on punctuation?
From: "Andrew Warren" <awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com>
To: "Yves JEAUROND" <jingting -at- rogers -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2007 13:10:05 -0700

Yves JEAUROND wrote:

> Typographical wisdom dictates that using ALL CAPS
> does mislead users on messages of the same length,
> especially short ones.
> There are exceptions: the display may be too small or badly designed
> for CAPS/no caps to make a difference. You'll have to judge the
> usability.

Yes, this is definitely an exceptional case in which typographical
conventions for documents don't apply. Ms. Weeks' 4x20 keypad
display is undoubtedly composed of low-resolution (5x8-pixel or so)
dot-matrix characters, and it probably doesn't even show lowercase
letters with descenders.

For a display like that, it's been my experience that all caps is
generally more readable than mixed case.

Also, it's frequently difficult on such a small display to separate
a heading from the text beneath it -- with only 4 lines of 20
characters each, there's often no room for blank lines or
punctuation between phrases -- so differences in capitalization can
be used to make the distinction.

> For politeness, a period is cool.
> "Please wait."
> Tell your engineers gently about customer etiquette, manners,
> grammar and syntax. :-) And how rude customers find it when these
> are ignored.

Yes, but I think this display really is more like a sign than like
a document or even a dialog box. If it were larger and had a
more delicately-formed font, lowercase and full sentences with
punctuation might look really nice, but I don't think the 4-line
by 20-character, 5x8-dot format allows for those niceties.

The big diamond-shaped roadside sign that says:


would be harder to read if it were in a smaller font that said:

traffic, please
merge to the



=== Andrew Warren - awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com
=== Synaptics, Inc - Santa Clara, CA

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