readability: to what extent is the blank text on a medium to light gray background objectively a bad practice?

I made the mistake of openly criticizing a web page because they asked me for an opinion. I ruled negatively. To what extent is the designer guilty of my unfavorable criticism?

Legibility judged objectively?

Here intrinsic and external factors intervene, such as monitors and eyes.

The small text, from 8 to 10px, white, in a solid tone of gray, which is somewhere between 10 and 35%, still made me fall a "star" … probably because the LCD helped me. The viewing angle of the screen, the density of pixels, maybe even the reflection of the screen could have influenced me. However, am I to blame or is this supposed to be avoided?

Since I have a slight astigmatism, I should not appreciate small sources that are too thin or light. But actually I use this configuration at this time for my desktop environment, with supbixel processing enabled as a necessity to render the font correctly, it is very thin. I'm not blind

Is it sustainable that one should not have to weigh such external factors, if one adheres to good practices, as a greater contrast between the text and the fund?

There was also no real need to choose such a clear gray. What finally gave me the impression of being careless, while the author could have tried to keep things warm and cozy with his choice of colors.

Relevance issues

The thing is that the user is not reading a poem with this configuration. I'm talking about the menu items that will only be read really until the user learns instinctively in the third word of the row.

Personally, I think readability is important. But good practices are not rules and I can not penalize the author because he violated Article X. Is this still somehow objectively A misstep from a UX perspective or is it rather that I was prone to simply "finding fault" subjectively, frustrated by not being able to read some words at a glance? To what extent is the white text on a light gray background objectively a bad practice?

Bonus question in the same line:

This menu was also hidden unnecessarily from the view, until it was invoked by a click. This superfluity made me fall another star, since it gets in the way of efficient interaction. Except, it's just an additional click. However, making a furore in the dynamics for the sake of having dynamics can be done without getting in the way.

The same question. Did I hold a valid resentment? Should the author get it or rather be offended?

usability – Readability problems and price presentation

The objective of that type of price display is to encourage the user to ignore the cents of an item. They see the & # 39; 12 & # 39 ;, but in some way they ignore the & # 39; 96 & # 39 ;, which leads the buyers to unconsciously lower the cost of the item by one dollar; mentally rounding the price up to $ 12, not up to $ 13. As a retailer, this is certainly an attractive prospect, especially for many low-cost items ($ 295 it looks a lot like $ 2, much cheaper than $ 3).

So the question is not really "is there a usability problem?", Because obviously it exists. The user will incorrectly calculate the cost of the items. The real question is "is this going to annoy the user enough to quit?" And to be honest, that depends on the rest of the site much more than a simple price display.

However, I can point out the usability problems inherent in the small text. The more our population ages, the more their vision deteriorates; While you may want to downplay pennies, you certainly do not want it to be illegible. This is what will happen, however, for a significant part of the users if the cents fall below about 10 points in size. If you can not read the pennies portion at all, I would not be surprised if you scared off some users.

readability – Why are monospaced fonts not used as frequently as serif and sans-serif fonts, outside of coding?

I think the main reason is readability.

Monospace is designed so that the characters are easy to read and are in hundreds of lines of code.
On the other hand, serifs and sans serifs fonts are designed to be used to improve readability in a large number of texts, book examples, magazines, etc.

This text can help you: Proportional vs. Monospace Fonts

Benefits and disadvantages of Monospace fonts
The configuration of the text in a monospaced font facilitates the identification of the characters by themselves. Because of this, tasks that rely on the easy identification of specific characters, such as programming, benefit from the use of a monospaced font. Similarly, a monospaced font can be used to format the code samples within a page that otherwise is set to a proportional font, so that they stand out more easily. Text configured in a monospaced font is also easier to align, leading to the creation of images constructed with characters, known as "ASCII art".

On the other hand, due to the fixed width of all the characters, a
The block of text set in a monospaced font usually occupies more
space than the same text set in a proportional font. Additionally,
long stretches of monospaced text can be mixed visually and, as
As a result, it becomes more difficult to read.

readability – Design of one or two columns for text? Which is better for the readers?

This is a question also within typography. From personal experience, I found that around 20 words through or less has the most comfortable impact on readability. But, again, it depends on how much text there is. If there is a lot of text, opening in a second column is where it would go.

The reason 20 words or less is due to the sweet spot. The user's eye wants to feel comfortable reading and making lines and have a good rhythm when reading. If the line is too short, the user has to interrupt the flow by moving his eyes down a line, and if this happens it often becomes tedious. If a line is too long, it feels like an eternity to finish it and it is likely that the user will also stop reading.

What effect does this have on your column / problem? Well, it will influence the width of the column and could have an impact on your grid.

Now, to answer your question directly with the example you have here, you would first evaluate what part of that text is necessary, and if you can shorten it by about half, then you would do it in a wide column (wider than the one you have) and see how that looks If that does not work, or can not shorten it Leave the column in the width it has there, if there is a good width for the convenience of reading the user. And finally, I would try a version where the column is a bit narrower and I do 2 columns of it.

Alternatively, I would like to look at the design in general and optimize there because it does not harmonize. It feels like a visualization error because some elements are not aligned.

tl: dr A. its version is fine with the column width. B. Try different versions. C. Work on the overall design / alignment.

How does a combination of space between paragraphs and indentation work for readability and aesthetics?

The indentation breaks the alignment of the text: the imaginary straight outline that is created at the beginning of the lines. Therefore, in most cases, it creates a stronger interruption than a paragraph space (which breaks the rhythm, depending on other parameters).

You should ask if a paragraph space and a indentation together is not an interruption that interferes with readability. You can prove in yourself how much your eyes want to "go" at the beginning of the paragraphs. Personally, I find it too much and I would not do it to obtain aesthetic values ​​(which are possibly there).

That said, if interruption is desired, for example, you expect the reader to scan the paragraphs instead of actually reading them, it could be a valid solution.

readability – Table of cells: verbose or abstract?

I received a surprising response from a large number of users about something I would never consider a problem. If the number of votes in that particular comment was not so great, I would not consider it relevant, but now I am guessing my intuition.

In my product there is a table / matrix that shows the flights and their attributes.

The rows represent the types of flights available:

Rate A
Rate b
Rate c

The columns represent flight attributes. The row in the header literally says:

Name of the tariff | Reimbursable | Free invoiced bags

It is important to note that this is a very small matrix, which shows no more than 5 rates (usually only 1 or 2) and exactly 3 attributes.

The cells in the table show.

If not

for the return, and


Billed bags free.

As it was said, it is a small table that always fits on a single screen.

The feedback says that the cells are confusing and difficult to interpret.

Instead of the Reimbursable cells showing Yes / No, the comments request that the cells show: Refundable / Non-refundable.

Instead of 0/1/2 for free billed bags, the cells should show: There are no free billed bags / 1 free billed bag / 2 free billed bags.

As I said, I'm really surprised by such comments. I would never consider it a problem myself, but maybe I missed a trend or an important study?