Examining perceptions of online text size and typeface legibility for older males and females
Bernard, Michael L.
Liao, Chia Hui
Chaparro, Barbara S.
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Bernard, M.L., Liao, C.H., Chaparro, B.S., & Chaparro, A. (2001). Examining perceptions of online text size and typeface legibility for older males and females. Proceedings of the 6th Annual International Conference on Industrial Engineering- Theory, Applications, and Practice.
This study examined the perceived font legibility, ease of reading, and font sharpness, as well as perceptions of font attractiveness, fun/personality, and general preference of two serif (Times New Roman and Georgia) and sans serif (Arial and Verdana) fonts at 12- and 14-point sizes on a computer by older adults (mean age of 70). The results revealed that participants perceived the 14-point size as more legible than the 12-point size. A significant interaction was found for font ease of reading and sharpness. Males perceived the 14-point size as being easier to read and sharper than the 12-point size. Females, however, showed little change in these perceptions as the font size changed from 12 to 14 points. Moreover, assessing font attraction revealed a significant interaction. Males perceived the 14-point size as being more attractive and had greater personality/fun than the 12-point size, whereas female's perceptions, regardless of the font size, were generally equivalent to the male's perceptions at the 14-point size. All participants significantly preferred the larger, 14-point sans serif fonts. No significant effects were found for font typeface. Implications of these results and design recommendations for online text for older adults are discussed.
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