How improving typography can help us to meet user needs

What is typography?

  • Typography isn’t the same as "choosing a font".
  • Typography is about improving the usability and readability of content.
  • Typography is concerned with the layout, spacing, size, contrast, ordering and grouping of text.

What problems does good typography solve?

Good typography can help users to;

  • navigate around a page
  • understand the meaning of content
  • understand the relationship between different bits of content

How do we know poor typography is a real problem?

I've observed the following in usability testing;

  • users get overwhelmed when presented with too much content
  • users find it difficult to scan a pages and pick out information
  • users squint, lean closer to the screen and complain about small text
  • strong headings, clear and generous spacing and larger text helps users to scan text and find specific bits

How can we tell if better typography is solving the problem?

Through usability testing and collecting feedback, it should be possible to observe that;

  • users are able to find the content they are looking for more easily
  • users find the content easier to understand
  • users with low vision will be able to read content more easily
  • users are able to spend longer reading content