VS .NET barcode Figure 4.11 Ascenders in Lowercase Letters Facilitate Reading. in .NET Creator Data Matrix 2d barcode in .NET Figure 4.11 Ascenders in Lowercase Letters Facilitate Reading.

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Figure 4.11 Ascenders in Lowercase Letters Facilitate Reading. generate, create none none with none projectsbarcode image generation library c# General Layout and Design r 155 Microsoft .NET Figure 4.12 Use of C apitalization for Instructions. The second example shows both capitalization and boldface used for question text.

Regardless of how dif cult the task illustrated in Figure 4.13 may actually be, a screen like this looks dif cult, not only because of the emphasis of the question text, but also because of the use of drop boxes (see 2) and the relatively limited white space (the unused areas of the screen). Given the separation of questions and answers, other techniques (e.

g., background color, typeface) could be used to distinguish questions from response options. Another commonly encountered example of the overuse of capitalization is the end-user license agreements (EULAs) one encounters when downloading or installing software.

These are presented as large blocks of compact text, often all capitalized, and typically in scrolling pop-up windows. The message they convey is one of discouraging reading, much like the legal ne print in many printed documents..

Figure 4.13 Use of Capitalization and Boldface for Question Text. 156 r Designing Effe ctive Web Surveys While there is agreement that capitalization is bad for large bodies of text, there is less consensus over the use of uppercase for emphasis. This brings us to the next topic..

4.2.4. Selective Emphasis Having chosen a part icular typeface and layout to maximize readability, there are still other decisions to be made with regard to typography. One of these is how to draw attention to selected parts of the text in other words, the use of emphasis. The basic tools for doing this are italics, bold, underline, capitalization, and color.

These could be used not only for emphasizing key words in the question, but also for distinguishing questions from response categories, or from instructions. I ve already said that using all capital letters is a bad idea. The same is true of all italics or all bold.

But with regard to selective emphasis focusing attention on particular words or phrases, the screen- and document-design literature is less clear. For example, Galitz (1993) notes that uppercase is suitable for headings, titles, and emphasis, because it aids search. Vartabedian (1971) found that screens with uppercase captions were searched faster than those using mixed case, and Williams (1988) found similar results with menu choice descriptions.

However, in the Web survey setting, we don t want respondents to read only the emphasized word but rather to read the entire sentence while noticing the emphasized portions. Schriver (1997) suggests that when extra emphasis is needed, bold is a better cue than uppercase (see also Coles and Foster, 1975). Italicized text is useful for selective emphasis.

But again, one should avoid using italics for large blocks of text because the readability of italicized text, particularly at resolutions typical of computer screens, is much lower than in comparably sized roman text (Lynch and Horton, 2001, p. 132). Underlined text is often used for emphasis in printed materials, including surveys.

But doing so on the Web is not a good idea, because of the association of underlined text with hyperlinks. The same is true of color. The default setting for hyperlinks is blue and underlined, but the use of other colors, with and without underline, is also common.

Thus, Neilsen notes in his Alertbox of November 1996, On the Web blue text equals clickable text, so never make text blue if it is not clickable. It is also bad, though not quite as bad, to make text red or purple, since these two colors are often used to denote hypertext links that have already been visited (see www.useit.

com/alertbox/9611.html). He later writes (www., To maximize the perceived affordance.

General Layout and Design r 157 Figure 4.14 Use of Blue for Emphasis Suggests Hyperlinks. of clickability, col none for none or and underline the link text. The blue underlined text is a hyperlink to a discussion of perceived affordances, while he used bold for emphasis. Nielsen goes on to say, Don t underline any text that is not a link, even if your links aren t underlined.

Reserve underlining for links. Because underline provides a strong perceived affordance of clickability, users will be confused and disappointed if underlined text doesn t have an actual affordance to match this perception. The National Cancer Institute s Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines (www.; see also U.S.

Department of Health and Human Services, 2006) similarly notes, For text, users expect links to be blue and underlined. Another drawback of the use of color for emphasis is that color-blind users may not be able to distinguish it from regular text. The example in Figure 4.

14 illustrates the problem. Readers may be tempted to click on the phrase all undergraduate students at the University of Michigan, for example, expecting a de nition of the term. But this is not a hyperlink.

It is simply emphasis, and way too much of it. Given how many words are emphasized, the key distinctions that the designer wanted the respondent to focus on smoke cigarettes, drink alcoholic beverages, and so on are lost in the sea of blue. A judicious rewrite of the question would help: Start with a lead-in containing the common text, and then follow this with each of the key behaviors.

I would recommend bold, italics, or uppercase, in that order, for emphasizing selected words or phrases. It is best to avoid underline and color, and particularly the combination of both. Furthermore, the key to effective use of various typographic devices for emphasis is selective use.

Overuse of emphasis leads to what Lynch and Horton (1997) called a clown s pants effect where everything.
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