Font Sizing for UX Designers - Part TWO

Monday, May 11, 2020

Font Sizing for UX Designers - Part TWO

Read the first part? Time to wrap this topic up! This one is slightly shorter than the previous one.  If you haven’t, please go read it first so you don’t feel lost when reading this article. It’s just 5 minutes - same amount of time it takes for you to get a cup of coffee and bring it to your desk. Assuming you do drink coffee. Hopefully it’s not decaf. Please don’t read our articles if you drink decaf. That’s weird. 🤐

Lexical Decision

The ability to recognize meaningful words, usually measured by speed or time when testing. Fascinating how advanced the human mind is yet some still believe the earth is flat. Sigh.

Considerations for lexical decision is vital not only for glanceable text, but also for body text or text within paragraphs. Yup, so firstly, content writers - we are attacking you first on this one, so designers step aside for a second. Our point is quite simple actually - the copy you provide should be easy to read. Try to avoid complex vocabulary if you can. The words should flow through the reader’s mind without making him or her have to reread anything.

Size Matters - And So Does Case Sensitivity

Yup. Sorry guys - and there’s proof. Our fellow UX experts over at Nielson Norman Group conducted some studies regarding this and lo and behold: larger text is easier to read. Let’s quickly recall the font size guide mentioned in the first part of the article.

The value 16. It brings tears to my eyes when even mentioning it. It’s beautiful. Don’t go below it, or above it, for body copy. It’s perfect just the way it is. I’m sure Bruno Mars would agree. It even passes for accessibility tests!

But when we look at the finer things in life, like the details, case sensitivity plays an equivalent role in terms of legibility and being a factor for cognitive load like lexical decision. As a matter of fact, when it comes to paragraphs, it is highly recommended that you do not consider making all of the letters capital. Same goes for long titles and subheadings. Why? Ascenders and descenders.

“Ascenders and descenders of lowercase letters guide the eye and promote legibility (by making it easier to differentiate between letters).”

The Takeaway

So reader, what did you learn in school today? Readability deficits can be avoided if you adhere to the sizes mentioned in this article and the previous one. It’s quite simple. And guess what? You now have a reason behind your font sizing! When you are asked to defend the sizes that you are using, you won’t shrug your shoulder for a change. And we won’t want to spank you in the gut! 🙂 Choose otherwise, and you might as well outsource your entire project to a remote island near Zimbabwe.

Remember, at the end of the day, bad design will always cost more than good design! 😉

Ready to create something awesome or transform your platform? Unlike anyone else in our industry, we can turn it around in less than 10 days, no matter the size of the project, and still cost 70% less than the national average creative agency price. Oh and all of our prices are up front, final, and transparent. So there’s no random agency fees that we can sneakily add on overnight unfortunately. Strictly located in the USA. Beat that and we’ll get on the next shuttle SpaceX off of this planet. Oh and we just won in six awards at the 2020 MUSE Creative Awards. So you could say our work is award-winning.

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