Typography in UI Design and How to Choose the Proper Font

Once the main structure is done, designers ought to take care of typography.

Employing excellent typography in UI design serves to clarify app’s structure and hierarchy. There are even such apps where the entire interface consists of typography.

For the novice designers among you, we composed a list of basic factors which can affect typography.

To start with, functional design is highly dependent on good typography. This combination is essential for apps where bulk relies significantly on text or those where the entire interface consists of typography.

This synergy proved to be most effective in apps where typography manages to pass unnoticed. In fact, those are the most successful apps.

Choosing appropriate fonts

The most important task is to choose appropriate fonts. You can go for web fonts or standardized choices attached to your Mac/Windows system.

For the later, make sure you choose a font which exists in both systems, or it would at least provide some similar experience regardless of the platform where it is applied. Furthermore, ensure that will be the same font you’re going to use in your final mockup.

Why is the font so important?

Besides readability, choosing an appropriate font will reduce the risk of confusion. Some fonts contain similar or almost identical letterforms-a lowercase L may look like uppercase I; or a set of uppercase N and lowercase R may look like a lowercase M. Therefore, make sure users can distinct the letterforms of the font you’ve decided to apply.

Where to look for them? I made an article a while back with cool free fonts.   You should also check out this article with high quality fonts on Line25.

Arguments against typography

The most common arguments against typography usage are the lack of available fonts and low screen resolutions (which cause difficulties for reading anti-aliased or pixelated content).

It’s not a designer’s task to deal with the availability of fonts. He should focus on choosing the appropriate ones among them, and to apply them in the most effective manner.

Choosing typefaces which are legible on different screen sizes

There is a large portion of size variability in every user interface. Very often, essential elements (button copies, labels, headers, etc) look different in terms of style and size.

Therefore, it is important to choose a typeface that can ‘handle’ various sizes and that can maintain the same level of legibility for every size.

It is not rare for the same typesets to behave differently under different circumstances. Goals justify means, so feel free to scale or size your texts up or down. These procedures can serve as testing methods, and they will help you obtain a legible product, despite of varying sizes.

Consider typography as the center of your user interface

Typography fans are often annoyed by the way in which different platforms/browsers regard fonts’ importance. The reason is the problematic nature of resolution, which can send users away in a matter of minutes.

However, a good designer is expected to balance typography and resolutions, and to provide functional typography under all circumstances. It is challenging – designers should consider leading, words, spacing/white spacing, and proper color palettes. Only those designers who create typography-centered interfaces are able to generate a good UX for the users.

Try to predict different scenarios

Already decided to use text? Think about potential perception scenarios and all the adjustments you’d have to make in order to comply with those scenarios.

Let’s look at one example: What would you do if there is a sudden need for an alert message? How would you make it different from the rest of your text? Good UI performs well under ideal circumstances, but great UI performs well under every circumstance.

Test your UI

As an experienced designer, you’re obviously familiar with the functions of text and other UI elements.

It means you’re already considering initial testing of slightly unclear elements. Involving users in the initial phase of your UI design, and asking them for their opinion is a way of expressing gratitude for their prospective loyalty.

Typefaces should be tested on the authentic mediums. For instance, if you’re working on a mobile application, test it on the actual and appropriate platform.

Remember that the purpose of testing is to monitor performance and responsiveness – therefore, don’t be afraid to examine different sizes, devices, or users. It is the most appropriate way to arrive to the right decision.

Testing on actual mediums comes naturally, but you would be surprised to know it is often overlooked. The most logical explanation is that designers were afraid to face failure possibilities, and some of them unfortunately postponed this to the point where there is no way back.

Test Actual Copies

You decided to test your user interface and you chose actual means to perform the testing. Why using samples instead of the actual text? You might have opted for Lorem Ipsum and you might have seen it deliver results, but what really counts in UI design is perception of content.

You need to employ the actual phrases and paragraphs, so that you could reinforce their importance if they prove to work out.

At the end of the day, the universal goal of textual content is to convey a message. This fact should never be underestimated, because it could deprive your entire product from its purpose.

When you optimize typography, you also optimize your legibility, access, usage, and the complete graphic balance of your design.

When you are using text as a functional item (for instance, in menus or guiding captions) that text becomes an irreplaceable part of your UI design; and it is automatically subjected to leading UI principles. It means that poor typography could affect the overall success of your UI design.

Therefore, it is critical to apply flexible typefaces which can be used under a variety of circumstances. Use typography as a mean to ensure fluidity and excellent user experience. At least, that’s what successful and accomplished designers would do.

The post Typography in UI Design and How to Choose the Proper Font appeared first on Line25.

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