Friday, November 10, 2006

Web Design is 95% Typography

An interview with the author of text as user interface concept ...

"An avalanche of comments, hundreds of applauding blog entries, honorable mentions from cooler and more sublime and hotter and higher places, forum discussions, translations in Chinese and partially in Italian and even blunt plagiarism was incited by one of my recent notes. In order to not answer to each commentator individually, I decided to write a summary that answers most of the raised concerns, accusations, questions, etc. As a result I think that managed to make things a little clearer.

Sensationalist and unfounded!
Justin: My issue is quite simply your title. I don’t disagree that typography is important in web design, but you are implying that non-typographic concerns are unimportant. That is sensationalist and unfounded.

... Am I the only one saying so?
Joran: Type as interface. Such an obvious idea. So obvious everywhere. Google. Etcetera. Yet it’s obviousness is only articulated by some, i.e. I.A.”

“Text as user interface” is a concept and notion coined by Cameron Moll. From the many positive many reactions I got, it’s become clear that I am not the first and not the only one to think so.

The 95%-idea first came to my mind while designing. I realized that even after defining the information architecture in detail, frantically pushing around boxes and changing colors for days is an inefficient method. In order to find a nice grid, into which I could fill the usual modular navigational and content elements, I should start with the text mass and organize it with a grid that guarantees optimal readability.

Most websites try to get text across, and most websites fail in that regard. And the ‘cocky designer’ website fails as much as the usability specialist’s with its unfriendly text sahara.

I didn’t intend to be loud or (un)popular. Until recently, mostly friends and clients were reading my notes. I had about 100 visitors a day. This article found its readers almost by itself. Within 30 minutes after posting it on reddit I had 1,500 users on my websites. That is not a given. Reddit is a tough place. From then on it all went by itself. Because it came from the guts, because it was passionate. Internet users appreciate that. And it must have had some truth to it."    (Continued via Information Architects Japan)    [Usability Resources]

Typogrid - Usability, User Interface Design



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