The Impact of Typography When Designing for Mobile Devices

The Impact of Typography When Designing for Mobile Devices

Due to the rise of mobile devices, readability on websites and apps are prioritized to give the best user experience as possible. Mobile devices already have some limitations: screen size, potential glare from light, and visual impairment. Making sure you follow general mobile typography guidelines are crucial to good UX.

Graphic of the word typography with different elements identified like the arm, tail, bowl and earl of letters.

Important Terminology:

Typography: The technique used in styling, formatting, and arrangement.
Typeface: System used to label font families.

Readability

Mobile apps play a huge part of our current day to day lives. Fonts have a direct impact on a user’s experience while navigating through the app. This is something we tend not to notice if it’s done well. However, when copy becomes uncomfortable to the eye, we realize somewhere along the way, a better decision could have been made. Things to take into consideration are: font, font size/weight, and making sure there’s enough contrast to separate text from background. Having enough negative space within the app itself is crucial, yet this also applies to bodies of copy within a mobile app. Consistency among font sizes and weights are important. Making sure the user can separate a headline from a sub headline, and a paragraph is all part of making a mobile app user friendly

Acceptable Fonts

Knowing which fonts to select are crucial to the design and good UX. Make sure to select fonts that are professional in presentation. These are generally the fonts that are the most plain and simple. Some examples of good go-to fonts include Helvetica Neue and Roboto. Both these fonts are readable, simple, and professional in appearance. If these aren’t options, use fonts that are compatible across majority of devices. These include Arial, Georgia, Tahoma, Times New Roman, Verdana, and a few select others.

Approaching mobile typography is a challenge. Most people view things different. Sometimes a used font is too big or too small to a subjective eye. Knowing the thought process behind why a certain font/size/weight is chosen and why is important to learning how this in turn effects a mobile user’s experience.

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