In an age where much of the information Boomers and Seniors receive is through ‘quick glance’ situations on screens, the design of the digital font characters in screen language is critical to comprehension.
Whether it is the read-out on the dashboard in a car, a text on a smart phone or an electronic road sign, legibility is critical to recognizing and absorbing information.
A pivotal research project conducted by Clear-IP, a consortium formed between MIT AgeLab, Monotype and Google, is exploring the effectiveness of fonts, colours and shapes within the digital context.
Current benchmarks for ageless legibility and comprehension of type fonts were set when most of our information was read from print – words on paper.
A digital deluge of the communications environment has prompted a new set of ageless standards to be developed.
Research scientist Bryan Reimer explains, “The Clear Information Presentation consortium, or Clear-IP, aims to gather evidence on how typography and design decisions affect our ability to read and retain content at a glance. Studies will be used to create a best practice toolkit for designers, helping them understand how design choices impact legibility.”
It is envisaged that the findings of the research will influence the creation of new standards and guidelines for digital designers, and possibly the development of the tools they use to create digital content.
All this to ensure that a quick glance at screens in the future will have a higher impact on retention of information, especially in over 50’s.