[sugar] default font too big?

Alan Kay alan.kay
Fri Dec 8 22:15:22 EST 2006

Every study I know of shows that children need wider viewing angles 
on shapes (which translates to larger font sizes).

Still, I would love to see a study with more normalizations. E.g. 
that took into account contrast ratio, pitch, convolution, rate, 
persistence, type, etc., of the screen, absolute viewing angles, 
angles of regard, and more.

In other words, we (or the Wichita folks) should repeat studies like 
this using the very different XO screen with children from a wide 
variety of backgrounds. This is a vital set of knowledge that is 
needed now. In particular, it is pretty clear informally that the 
filter function of this display is quite different, especially on 
small images and edge segments. It would be nice to know what this 
means in larger scale terms such as readibility of text.

(Background: I did a lot of the original human factors on "nice 
screen fonts" at PARC, and was quite surprised by the amount of 
influence of sampling frequencies, C/R, viewing angle, filter 
function of the display itself, etc., on readability. The best source 
on this at that time was Tom Cornsweet's book on how human beings see 
things on paper, and he covered most issues except for flicker. We 
found very similar results but highly skewed by some of the factors 
mentioned above. There are likely better books today (I would hope) 
that are focused directly on display viewing.)



At 09:39 AM 12/8/2006, Celeste Lyn Paul wrote:

>Are you inquiring about changing font size just for your development purposes
>or in general?  If it is just to make things more comfortable for youself,
>I'm not sure how you would adjust those settings.
>However, if you are talking about the general interface, remember that
>children are going to be using these interfaces, not adults.  When reading
>text on a screen, children prefer larger, sans-serif fonts.
>The usability lab at Wichita has done a lot of research on reading text on
>screen,  here is one study in particular as a reference:
>On Friday 08 December 2006 10:55, Owen Williams wrote:
> > I've spent a week with my btest-1, and I've found that the default font
> > size is unnecessarily big.  I've found myself going through my own
> > applications and changing the font settings to "small" and "x-small" to
> > make the text fit comfortably on the screen.  I'm not someone who uses
> > teeny tiny fonts, either.  I don't know exactly what those attributes
> > translate to in actual size, but it seems to me that the default font
> > could be reduced to 66-75% of its current size and still remain totally
> > legible in English.
> >
> > (what's the best way to experiment with this?  change the gtk theme or
> > xorg.conf? I've been using the font control panel in GNOME for so long I
> > don't know where it's actually making changes)
> >
> > Owen
> >
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>Celeste Lyn Paul
>KDE Usability Project
>Sugar mailing list
>Sugar at laptop.org

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