All (visual) details matter.
“Robust typesetting guidelines for leveled texts do exist, but primarily as internal support documents for design teams at educational publishers. These documents aren’t typically referenced by professional levelers, and it’s the levelers who define a book’s official reading level.”
Brian LaRossa ~ Design Observer ★
How more detailed can design tips go?
“Fonts to support glancing at individual words should be larger, in noncondensed widths, and uppercase over lowercase.”
Page Laubheimer a.k.a. /page-laubheimer | @page_level ~ Nielsen Norman Group ★
Not only for aesthetics, but also for functions like Reading and Understanding.
“Users won’t read web content unless the text is clear, the words and sentences are simple, and the information is easy to understand. You can test all of this.”
Jakob Nielsen a.k.a. /jakobnielsenphd | @NNgroup ~ Nielsen Norman Group ★
Basic elements of typography are the foundation for any digital designer.
“The world of typography often seems like it has its very own language, full of serifs, strokes, and swashes. Sorting out all those terms can be confusing in itself, so we’ve compiled a visual glossary that will guide you through the lingo – whether you’re an aspiring typeface designer or just a general typography enthusiast. Learning the building blocks of typography will help you better understand how to pick a suitable font and apply it effectively within your design projects.”
(Janie Kliever ~ Canva) ★
Scanning also involves reading, but at a general level. Unless, the texts are relevant, interesting or remarkable.
“The emergence of highly content-based websites now means one thing: how to fit the content within a very well-functioned website while not sacrificing the aesthetics? In addition to that, the development of web nowadays mean viewers will be able to view these content across multiple sizes of screens. Such are the challenges of designing in these interesting times.”
(Zana Fauzi and Dahlia Ahad ~ Stampede) ★
The only thing that is missing is connectivity as a unique trait of digital.
“In a traditional design practice, the designer works directly on a design product. Be it a logo, website, or a set of posters, the designer is the instrument to produce the final artifact. A meta-designer works to distill this instrumentation into a design system, often written in software, that can create the final artifact. Instead of drawing it manually, the designer programs the system to draw it. These systems can then be used within different contexts to generate a range of design products without much effort.”
(Rune Madsen a.k.a. @runemadsen ~ O’Reilly Radar) ★
And this not only applies to architects architecting with atoms.
“Demi-gods in black, some architects treat type as a redundant tool and graphic designers as inconsequential. But the relationship between architecture and graphic design has deep roots.”
(Erik Spiekermann a.k.a. @espiekermann ~ Design Observer)
Designing for reading experiences is so much more than ‘just’ typographical design decisions.
“Journey mapping brings understanding of what customers are feeling, thinking and doing at any given point in time when interacting with a service, and recognition of how that may change over time.”
(Jason Santa Maria a.k.a. @jasonsantamaria ~ A List Apart)
Typography is the essential ingredient to design for the reading experience, abstracting knowledge from texts, titles and labels.
“Often times we find ourselves spending hours crafting articles, making sure that each word we select is the perfect one to project the story we are trying to paint. But there is another factor, often overlooked, that is just as important as writing great content: Typography. Let’s delve a little into the world of typography and see how it affects readers. If you are someone who despite getting traffic and producing quality content, just can’t seem to get your readers to stay, you will want to read this till the end.”
(Ankit Oberoi a.k.a. @oberoiankit ~ adpushup)
Typical case of a rhetorical question. ‘Look-and-feel’ as the layman’s definition of UX.
“Typography matters as much as geography. Businesses take a great deal of time to consider the implications and pitfalls of entering a new market, but they often leave major components of their UX to the arbitrary decisions of outside contractors. Everything matters in brand identity, especially the look-and-feel of the fonts that identify your company.”
Honoring our historical roots is what makes us more mature as a relevant domain in world history. Even though is still three decades old, sort of.
“Thirty years ago, as tech titans battled for real estate in the personal computer market, an inconspicuous young artist gave the Macintosh a smile. Susan Kare was the type of kid who always loved art. As a child, she lost herself in drawings, paintings, and crafts; as a young woman, she dove into art history and had grandeur dreams of being a world-renowned fine artist.”
(Zachary Crockett a.k.a. @zzcrockett ~ Priceonomics)
Old typographical systems get a second life.
“Grids serve well to divide up a predefined canvas and guide how content fits onto a page, but when designing for the web’s fluid nature, we need something more… well, responsive. Enter ratios, which architects, sculptors, and book designers have all used in their work to help set the tone for their compositions, and to scale their material from sketch to final build. We can apply a similar process on the web by focusing on the tone and shape of our content first, then working outward to design fluid, ratio-based grid systems that invite harmony between content, layout, and screen.”
(Nathan Ford ~ A List Apart)
Even the underlining of texts is a design challenge in the digital world.
“How hard could it be to draw a horizontal line on a screen? It seems wrangling a few pixels together to stand in a file would be something computers should be pretty good at anno domini twenty-fourteen. One would think so, but simple things are rarely simple under the surface at least if they are worth anything. Typography, likewise, is a game of nuance. This is a story on how a quick evening project to fix the appearance of underlined Medium links turned into a month-long endeavour.”
(Marcin Wichary ~ Medium)
And so, every content object gets its own UX application.
“Designing a digital magazine app that gives users a pleasing experience requires attention to their reading behavior. Do today’s readers want static magazines or interactive magazines, and how interactive should a magazine be?”
(Kelly Verdonk ~ imgzine)
Typography as the integral part of UX design.
“The right font choice along with the absence of sidebars and popups makes everything feel easier and better to read. Websites like Medium, Signal vs. Noise, and Zen Habits are like yoga studios for content. Their presentation of content puts me at peace while reading, allowing me to fully focus on the stories without distraction.”
(Mikael Cho a.k.a. @mikaelcho ~ The Next Web)
Online typography, typefaces and fonts get mature, finally.
“With the chaos of different screen sizes and a new generation of web browsers, the design paradigms of layout and typography have shifted away from static layouts and system fonts to dynamic layouts and custom web fonts. But screens have not just changed in size but also in pixel density. In other words: maybe we do not just need responsive layouts, we might also need responsive typefaces.”
(Oliver Reichenstein a.k.a. @iA ~ Fronteers 2013)
Some would rephrase this as ‘Content first’.
“Text is not an afterthought in the design process. It should be your first consideration.”
(Carrie Cousins a.k.a. @carriecousins ~ Design Shack)
But the thing is not to fall into the screen is paper parallel.
“With the rise of Web fonts as well as affordable hosted Web font services and ready-made kits, typography is reclaiming its title as design queen, ruler of all graphic and Web design.”
(Marko Dugonjić a.k.a. @markodugonjic ~ Smashing Magazine)
If it has structure, it can be modular.
“Grids follow the same principle of modularity we’ve been considering the last few weeks. In some ways that seems obvious given the terminology modular grids. In other ways though it isn’t quite as obvious that they’re the same thing. However, when you think about how grids divide space and make it easier for us to make layout decisions, I think the modularity of grids falls right in line with the reusable modularity of components and design patterns. They separate concerns, by dividing the space into modular units. The characteristics of these modular units are reusable and through reuse help us more efficiently place information. Finally, the structure of these units in the grid leads to greater consistency in how content is organized.”
(Steven Bradley a.k.a. @vangogh ~ VanSeoDesign)
Typography as the essential ingredient of design for search, find, and use information.
“A stroke, a letter, a word, a sentence, a paragraph, a page, and a book: all essentially linear constructs of the typographic mind put into action. There is a typographic order of ‘things’, a logical sequence from the most simple, to the most complex. A line, a space, a rectangle, a margin—an aesthetic device for visuality. As an infinite list of signifiers, the above lists signify the qualitative/quantitative display of the visual properties of typography: the micro and the macro, the color and the density, the positives and the negatives, the visible and the invisibles; these are some of the typographic paradigms that yield communicative visualization.”
(Chun-wo Pat ~ Parsons Journal of Information Mapping)