Browsing: Design

Usability: font readability effects on perceived company ethos

February 29th, 2008 | By Cedric

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I have read weeks ago a very interesting report published by The Software Usability Research Laboratory (SURL). It describes a study made on the relation between the typeface of a website, its readability and the impression made on the user in term of perception of company ethos. It shows something that is not very new but it proves that typefaces’ readability influences users unconsciously in term of perceived trust of a company.

Typeface and analogd

From the start of analogd, I have been focused on font choices and readability. I put it at the core of each project. I think it is closely related to the fact that part of my Art and Design studies were focused on typeface design. Typeface studies are something which is very traditional in Switzerland and pushed forward. After all we are the country of Adrian Frutiger and Jan Tschichold who are part of typography history and present. I designed matrix fonts which were very quick to build. But the project which was the most time consuming was the design of a true text font for use on paper: 1912 Burgdorf. It was a lot of work and is not directly related to what I do today, but I think it practised my eye to visual balance and gave me passion and respect for typeface and typeface designers. (I may do a post on this subject soon)
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The report on usability effect on user perception

“This study investigated the effect of website typeface appropriateness on the perception of the site’s company. Results indicate that typefaces that are high in appropriateness should be used for websites. Neutral and low appropriate typefaces significantly decreased the perception of the company as judged by professionalism, believability, trust, and intent to act on the site.”
A. Dawn Shaikh The Effect of Website Typeface Appropriateness on the Perception of a Company’s Ethos.

Afterword fotns which mades sites untrusted

It is not very surprising to see that a website using Curlz font is not considered as “trusty”. But I think it is more interesting to see how best fonts are classified. It shows a total success to windows vista clear types. In addition I wonder if we can trust the position of Arial which is rated under Calibri and Cambria. I guess this result could be a bit biased by the fact that people are more used to Arial than to Calibri and Cambria. The novelty may play a role. Fore and foremost, this report is a reminder and a manifest for the quest of perfect screen readability. I have focused on the top of the chart and was surprised how slight differences in term of readability have direct effects on a company perception. In every case readability should be considered as a core element of an efficient website design.
Do not miss another interesting article on: Examining the Legibility of the Letter “e” and Number “0″ Using Classification Tree Analysis
by D. Fox, B. Chaparro, & E. Merkle

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Adobe AIR Final Logo revealed

November 16th, 2007 | By Cedric

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Final Logo Revealed for Adobe AIR

Mike Chambers revealed yesterday in Paris the final Adobe AIR logotype which is representing officially the software. Mike Chambers was there yesterday for its Adobe User Group European Tour before last step. Last step is today in Geneva in front of the Adobe User Group Geneva and other Adobe User Groups from Switzerland (SFUG,…), I will be there and I am looking forward to meeting Mike. I met him for the first time at Spark Europe Amsterdam during the osflash official presentation session few years ago.

Metaphors of AIR

Adobe AIR/Apollo went through different logotypes, I liked very much the metaphor of the mouse cusor in orbit as it was for Adobe Apollo (working code name of Adobe AIR). I was a bit disappointed by the squary latest one, I felt it was quite unpersonal and very static. Finally I am happy to see this final step, which is not revolutionary, but fits better what it represents: light, quick dynamic and able to navigate accurately in the AIR as a frisbee or a boomrang, gathering different poles as may represent the three circles (I guess desktop, server side, front-side. Or Flash, Html, server side). And funnily enough the hole inside the new Adobe AIR logotype makes me think about a CD-R or DVD-R. This is certainly not intentional and I am overinterpretating it, but it seems to me to represent the true end of cd-rom/dvd-rom Era (hole=void) to provide Flash softwares and define the era of RIA and desktop applications for Flash and Flex only distributed through the AIR. I am happy to see this final logo for Adobe AIR because it gives us a clue that the final release of Adobe AIR is not very far.
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