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Study shows that typeface choice has safety benefits


Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 27 Sep 2012

pocketgpsworld.com
Research conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Monotype Image Holding Inc has demonstrated that certain typeface styles can reduce the glance time for driver information systems.

Studies demonstrated that there was a marked and consistent reduction in the time spent looking at information displays when they used certain typeface styles.

With the increase in information presented to drivers from navigation, driver information and multi-media systems, the results make interesting reading. At highway speeds, the reduction in time spent absorbing information equated to a distance travelled of 50 feet.

Monotype's Frutiger typeface produced the best results in the test, conducted with 82 participants aged between 36 and 75.

Source: MIT Age Lab



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Posted by M8TJT on Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:21 am Reply with quote

News Team Wrote:
Research conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Monotype Image Holding Inc has demonstrated that certain typeface styles can reduce the glance time for driver information systems.
Monotype's Frutiger typeface produced the best results in the test, conducted with 82 participants aged between 36 and 75.
Well I suppose that it would be a Monotype font, wouldn't it?

The choice of font for readability has been a well known fact since newspapers became common. Serif fonts are easier to read in big blocks of text (hence 'Times Nwe Roman') and sans serif fonts have more impact as 'headlines'.

ALL CAPS IS CONSIDERABLY MORE DIFFICULT TO READ IN LONG SENTENCES, ESPECIALLY IN LARGE BLOCKS. THAT ALSO DOESN'T TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THAT IT IS GENERALLY ACCEPTED TO BE THE TYPED EQUIVILENT OF SHOUTING.

What I also find is that the choice of colours is arguably more important than tht choice of font. For instance the Sygic Traffic uses red typeface on a black background for their delays (which don't work anyway). This is impossible to read at a small font size at normal phone distances, let alone whilst driving. I can't understand why people think that red is a good colour for warning text, especially against a dark background as it is particularly difficult to read for the normally sighted let alone those with red/green colour blindness.


 
Posted by navtrav on Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:51 am Reply with quote

As a former newspaper page designer, I have been involved in quite a few redesigns and I totally agree with M8TJT.

I am also in agreement about the importance of colour (interesting that the majority of newspaper headlines are still black) and especially Sygic’s poor design.

While I like their maps, the information bar is very poor, even worse if you ‘click’ on it for the further menu. I’ve learnt the position of ‘cancel route’ because I cannot read it.

Even knowing where it is, it is too small. Invariably I’m trying to hit it to stop the annoying, re-routing do a u-turn nag when I know better) only to find I’ve hit the wrong choice and I then need to stop the car and do a complete reset.

I found even if I switch the phone off, the app keeps going with its annoying verbal nag. I have to exit the app – not an easy thing to do with the small menus when trying to concentrate on the road.

Yes, a poor design.


Tim
------------

Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy Tablet S, TomTom. Osmand+ and Sygic. Ex-TomTom Go 1000 Live, ex-TomTom Go 700, ex-TomTom truck, ex Navman/Ipaq

 
Posted by peterc10 on Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:26 am Reply with quote

All of this was known over 50 years ago when the UK's motorway system and its traffic signs were being designed. Been some interesting TV programmes recently (on BBC4 I think) on how the design was developed and the choice of colours, fonts etc.


Peter
HTC Sensation
Sygic GPS for Europe (No more TT "support"!)
Copilot for USA
Bury CC9060 bluetooth car kit & Brodit mount

 
Posted by MaFt on Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:45 am Reply with quote

peterc10 Wrote:
Been some interesting TV programmes recently (on BBC4 I think) on how the design was developed and the choice of colours, fonts etc.


I saw the first one - pretty fascinating actually!

MaFt


 
Posted by peterc10 on Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:55 am Reply with quote

The first one was dedicated to the signs I think and yes it was fascinating. And then parts of it were included in the history of motorways series they also ran.


Peter
HTC Sensation
Sygic GPS for Europe (No more TT "support"!)
Copilot for USA
Bury CC9060 bluetooth car kit & Brodit mount

 
Posted by M8TJT on Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:22 am Reply with quote

So what we can gather from this is that Monotype's 'recent discovery' isn't recent, is just a sales ploy Rolling Eyes


 
Posted by 66Mustang on Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:44 pm Reply with quote

Basically, yes. Jock Kinnear and Margaret Calvert came up with 'Transport' and 'Motorway' fonts for that very reason. Lower case is preferred as the shape of the word is what you recognise from a distance rather than reading it.


 
Posted by Andy_P on Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:48 pm Reply with quote

Maybe Comic Sans isn't so bad after all!

It's one of the few fonts that has an "a" in the same shape that every child learns to write it.


"Settling in nicely" ;-)

 
Posted by navtrav on Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:54 pm Reply with quote

66Mustang Wrote:
Basically, yes. Jock Kinnear and Margaret Calvert came up with 'Transport' and 'Motorway' fonts for that very reason. Lower case is preferred as the shape of the word is what you recognise from a distance rather than reading it.


Yes, my past font research also suggested that you can still recognise words with the 'descenders' covered up, but it's harder with the 'uppers' covered.


Tim
------------

Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy Tablet S, TomTom. Osmand+ and Sygic. Ex-TomTom Go 1000 Live, ex-TomTom Go 700, ex-TomTom truck, ex Navman/Ipaq

 
Posted by M8TJT on Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:21 pm Reply with quote

navtrav Wrote:
Yes, my past font research also suggested that you can still recognise words with the 'descenders' covered up, but it's harder with the 'uppers' covered.
In my extreme youth around the late 40s/50s, I had a book called The Wonder Book Of Why And What. This demonstrated the decenders/risers problem nicely. Also you can mix up the leterts in wodrs and they can still be ealesy be read if the first and last letters are rihgt.


 
Posted by adm143 on Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:54 am Reply with quote

M8TJT Wrote:
navtrav Wrote:
Yes, my past font research also suggested that you can still recognise words with the 'descenders' covered up, but it's harder with the 'uppers' covered.
In my extreme youth around the late 40s/50s, I had a book called The Wonder Book Of Why And What. This demonstrated the decenders/risers problem nicely. Also you can mix up the leterts in wodrs and they can still be ealesy be read if the first and last letters are rihgt.


http://www.dailywritingtips.com/cna-yuo-raed-tihs/


 
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