The effect of age and font size on reading text on handheld computers

Darroch, I., Goodman, J., Brewster, S.A. and Gray, P.D.G. (2005) The effect of age and font size on reading text on handheld computers. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 3585, pp. 253-266. (doi: 10.1007/11555261_23)



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Though there have been many studies of computer based text reading, only a few have considered the small screens of handheld computers. This paper presents an investigation into the effect of varying font size between 2 and 16 point on reading text on a handheld computer. By using both older and younger participants the possible effects of age were examined. Reading speed and accuracy were measured and subjective views of participants recorded. Objective results showed that there was little difference in reading performance above 6 point, but subjective comments from participants showed a preference for sizes in the middle range. We therefore suggest, for reading tasks, that designers of interfaces for mobile computers provide fonts in the range of 8-12 point to maximize readability for the widest range of users.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gray, Mr Philip and Brewster, Professor Stephen
Authors: Darroch, I., Goodman, J., Brewster, S.A., and Gray, P.D.G.
Subjects:Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Journal Name:Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Publisher:Springer Verlag
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2005 Springer
First Published:First published in Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3585:6-17
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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