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Aside on Fonts: was: RE: guideline 7.1 about screen flickering (fwd)

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 07:24:16 -0400
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.0.20010726070951.009e9660@pop.erols.com>
To: "gregory j. rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org, wai-xtech@w3.org
Greg,

         Re: fonts. serif fonts provide better distinction of words rather 
than letters. Speed readers prefer serif fonts.
Serif fonts make a sentence in a paragraph more distinct that with a sans 
serif font.

         Currently, I'm making a Cookbook section on our homepage, and I 
find the recipe pages are most appealling and would be most useful (to me 
at least), is to use the serif front for title, catchy line and servings, 
and the recipe directions. The ingredients are bulletted (to conserve 
screen space), and in a sans serif font. I have two sisters with a unique 
form of dyslexia where the bottom half of the letters is invisible. For 
them, a serif font gives them more letter to see. Both read best with a 
book upside down, which is not currently a user option on computers.

                                                 Anne




At 11:35 PM 7/26/01 -0400, gregory j. rosmaita wrote:
>aloha, kynn!
>
>Kynn wrote:
> > >3. what is the foreground color/color of the text?  is it green as well?
> > >(that seems to be the motif)
> >
> > Red.
> >
> > >4. is the font used a serif or sans-serif font?
> >
> > Serif, maybe something like Times New Roman.  Is that important?
>
>red on green raises a red flag for obvious reasons...  i asked about the
>font because sans-serif fonts are far more popular with low vision users
>than serif fonts for a number of reasons, the main ones being that they
>provide sharper, better defined contrast with the background and that they
>scale much better; from a strictly legal point of view, the "minimum
>requirement" set by the united states postal service for "large text" for
>the purpose of sending printed material "free matter for the blind" is
>16pt arial (a sans-serif font), which has always sounded pretty small to
>me...
>
>in any event, considered from a general usability point of view, are not
>sans-serif fonts considered more "readable" and "easier-on-the-eye"
>especially when rendered over a variable background (such as from a
>background image or pattern)?  although i don't have a visual memory of
>the verdana font face because i don't think it had been developed before i
>lost my sight, i'm sure it is far more legible at any size than "goudy old
>style", which is why the VICUG NYC (title="Visually Impaired Computer
>Users' Group of New York City") web site's default stylesheet uses verdana
>as its base font (with a fallback onto the generic "sans-serif"), but
>Camera Obscura, my personal site, uses a serif font (actually a few,
>depending upon your UA's support for stylesheets, your local font library,
>and/or whether you have configured your UA to ignore author defined fonts
>and colors or are running a client-side stylesheet)
>
>OLD GJR:
> >>i suppose that no one who approaches the graphic with a tabula rasa would
> >>know the answers to the first 2 questions, which indicates to me that this
> >>particular graphic isn't a very successful conduit of information...
>KB response:
> > Not necessarily, it depends on (a) what it's meant to do, and (b) how
> > it is used.  Let's not assume that looking at a graphic in a background
> > can tell us anything about how useful it is!!
>
>NEW GJR: well, that's why i would have preferred if the UPC webmaster had
>seen fit to attach a mock-up of the page on which the graphic will be used
>so that it could also be perceived in context...  even the block of markup
>in which the image will be contained would have provided more context...
>i also wonder if seeing the graphic in context would have led to different
>descriptions, such as "American Association for Mental Retardation RADAR
>logo" or some such...  but, we were asked to judge a particular animated
>graphic in isolation, which is what we've been doing...
>
>OLD GJR:
> > >i'm not sure i would if the alt text just said: "RADAR @ AAMR", which
> > >appears to be the literal textual equivalent for the graphic...  still,
> > >there is a checkpoint in WCAG1 (checkpoint 4.2) which recommends providing
> > >an expansion for acronyms and abbreviations where they first occur...
>KB response:
> > This is an effect of a broken spec for the <img> tag.  Currently
> > you can only do this:
> >
> >       <img alt="RADAR @ AAMR" />
> >
> > ...or an expansion of the same.
> >
> > But ideally you should be able to do:
> >
> >      <img>
> >        <abbr>RADAR</abbr>
> >        <abbr>@</abbr>
> >        <abbr>AAMR</abbr>
> >      </img>
> >
> > The problem is that <img> is an empty tag when really it should be like
> > <object>.
>
>NEW GJR:  well, technically, _i_ could have, since i declared XHTML 1.0 on
>my "mystery graphic" page, not to mention my personal preference for
>"rich", rather than constrained mechanisms for providing conditional
>content, but i don't want to break anyone's browser and i want as many
>people as possible to be able to use the page, no matter what browser they
>employ...
>
>which is also why i reluctantly continue to use the character-entity code
>to generate a quote (&#34;) rather than demarcating text as a quote with
>the Q element...  i'd vastly prefer to use the Q element for a number of
>reasons -- obviously to reflect structure in the markup, is one reason,
>but an equally important reason is that use of the Q element leaves the
>choice of quotation convention open to the user (or his or her or her UA,
>which might interpret Q according to either the natural language in which
>the OS is running or automatically deliver the appropriate quotation and
>quotation nesting conventions for a page based on the natural language
>declared for that page...  it also allows for restyling of the entire
>block demarcated by the opening and closing Q tags, so that it stands out
>from the rest of the text, at least visually and aurally, using the
>styling palette currently available...
>
>ok, it is a real pain in the posterior to compose email via this
>particular shell account (which is one of the biggest thorns sticking out
>of my side, as this is currently my only means of receiving email), so
>i'll stop for now...  did i answer your counter-questions, kynn?
>
>gregory.
>--------------------------------------------------------------------
>CORPORATION, n.  An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit
>without individual responsibility.
>                          -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_
>--------------------------------------------------------------------
>Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
>             Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html
>--------------------------------------------------------------------

Anne Pemberton
apembert@erols.com

http://www.erols.com/stevepem
http://www.geocities.com/apembert45
Received on Friday, 27 July 2001 07:30:43 GMT

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