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GUI font size for database application (forms)?


I'm currently using MS Sans serif 8 for my application as it is the standard look & feel for windows 9x and win2k.

If I'll be using size 9 or 10 which is bigger/clearer in the eyes of user. Am I deviating with the standards of windows?

What font size are you using in your database applications for form entry?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Wouldn't the "windows standard" be to use whatever the user has defined in the display preferences?

Thats what I have always used in my apps.
Chris O Send private email
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Speaking as a middle aged guy who could really use bifocals, have mercy on us youth-challenged people. While you don't have to use 14 Point Courier New Bold like I do in TextPad (:=), data entry is very eye-intensive work. Forget the standards.
Steve Hirsch Send private email
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Take into account how the application will be used.  If it's a walk-up terminal like you find on a factory floor or a retail setting, definitely pick a larger, more readable font like Verdana 12 or 14.  What's easy to read at the desk is sometimes a nuisance to read at a walk-up terminal.  I've got good eyes and had trouble reading the standard-sized text on a walk-up terminal running my software.  I quickly changed my design ideas once I had to use the software in the field.

Of course, I still prefer a text-only interface for most of those situations.  It's a lot easier to use.
Clay Dowling Send private email
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
We did quite a bit of asking around on this one.  Our accounting software uses Tahoma 10pt font as a default for everything.  But we give user ability to pick different sizes within reason -- too big and it sort of distorts the layout.

We've talked to users ranging in age from 60 year old to 20 something year olds and this seem to be the middle ground they all could agree on.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Arial 9 point or 10 point on for me and the users...
Brice Richard Send private email
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Arial is a very poor choice for any purpose.  If you must specify a font, then go with Verdana, which was actually designed to be easy to read on a computer screen.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Verdana was one of the ones we experimented with but it took up more horizontal space than Tahoma and in the end, our users couldn't decipher the difference all that much.

This spacing is called kerning or something like that -- I think...
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Sorry if this response is too late for you to notice.

You might find this study interesting. It was done in the context of HTML emails in 2001, so they get a little overly concerned about whether a font is available on the end user's system. They didn't evaluate Tahoma at all, and there was no attempt to control for screen size and resolution differences; still I think it's better to have hard data than to just guess.

The conclusion is Verdana 10 pt.

Configurable options are a false panacea. They clutter the UI and/or are undiscoverable, introduce more opportunities for bugs, and still don't absolve you of the responsibility of picking an optimal default.
Mark Ransom Send private email
Wednesday, July 26, 2006

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