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What impact do page and font size have on reading?

Read this whole posting from the Kindle Review blog.

We’ve always known that people prefer to read more than three pages in print, rather than on a computer screen. I think that changes with the form factor of some these e-reader devices.

What impact do page and font size have on reading?

Here’s a snippet:

“Summary of Findings about Font and Screen Size

Here are the main findings from research studies –

1. Reading speed increases with more words per screen. There are some studies that are undecided about this.
2. Reading speed increases with size of the screen. There are some studies that claim this doesn’t happen.
3. Size of characters is only important for legibility. After characters are legible, their size doesn’t seem to impact reading speed.
4. Older readers prefer font size 14 over size 12. Only two sizes were compared.
5. Children below 7 prefer font size 24 and those aged 7 or 8 prefer font size 18.
6. Dyslexic students need a critical font size to be able to reach their highest reading speed and this is higher than that for non-dyslexic students.
7. Black characters on a white background produce the best readability.
8. Paging is better than scrolling.
9. Increasing the Spacing between lines improves clarity.
10. Serif fonts (Times New Roman, little arches/serifs on the characters) are better than sans serif (Arial, Verdana) for print on paper. The results are supposed to be the reverse for computer screens.”

There is stuff to learn here form web site design too and this post assembles a lot of the research into one place.


Posted on: March 31, 2010, 7:28 am Category: Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Re #10: The last sentence is, I believe, mistaken: As far as I’ve ever been able to determine, research *fails to show* that serif is more readable than sans on the screen–*not* that sans is more readable than serif. So it should read “The difference hasn’t been demonstrated for computer screens.” And, of course, E-Ink readers should be more like print on paper than computer screens.

  2. martin said

    help!! can someone please direct me to recent formal research on serif v. sans serif in USA??

    thanks folk