June 16, 2019Comments are off for this post.

Principles of Typography

Angular Size

Like many things in UI design, something that appears random and subjective (like font sizes) is actually depending on remarkably sensible principle: we like to read paragraphs whose letters are about the same subjective size – namely, something like 0.3° tall, from baseline to cap height, in our field of vision.

angular size of text on different devices

First, why are we measuring font sizes in degrees? Frankly, it’s the most sensible way to do it when comparing across devices. What else you got – inches? If you talk about trying to make your type half an inch tall, well, great, but half an inch text is crazy big on a phone (one foot from your face), and pretty small on a TV screen (10 feet from your face). The simple truth is: when a font is twice as far away, it needs to be twice as big to compensate.

Now this is great in theory, but in practice, it’s incredibly arduous to calculate:

  • Not everyone views their phone or monitor from the same distance
  • Not all devices have the same size pixels
  • Not all fonts are the same readability – even at the same font size, pixel-density, and viewing distance!

So while you will probably never be calculating this out by hand, I think there are two general lessons that are worth bearing in mind.

The 1/16” Rule

Across a wide variety of viewing distances, you can size your body text according to the following formula:

Font size (in inches) = 1/16" x (the number of feet between the user’s eyeballs and the device)*

*Measuring baseline to cap height, and presuming a fairly readable body font

I don’t expect you to whip out a ruler the next time you make an Android app, but this could come in handy when you take your digital design knowledge to a medium you’ve never worked with: presentation posters, TV apps, slideshows for viewing in an auditorium hall, etc.

The Pixel Density-Viewing Distance Offset

In general, smaller devices have smaller pixels*.

*By “pixel”, I mean not physical pixels, but the concept alternatively referred to as “CSS pixels” (web), “density-indepent pixels” (Android), or “points” (iOS) – in-depth explanation here.

That means smaller devices have more pixels per inch. And that means the same font size appears physically smaller on phones than tablets, and physically smaller on tablets than desktops (and so on for TVs as well, by the way).

pixel density comparison across different devices

That’s not the end of the world, since we hold phones closer to our face. But if the average phone is twice as close to our eyeballs as the average desktop, is the pixel density decrease enough on desktop to make the desktop font twice as big? Short answer: no. Longer answer: as of writing, the typical desktop now has about 33% smaller pixels than your typical mobile device. This means that it’s not stupid to make any desktop text about 33% larger than its mobile equivalent, at least on a page optimized for long form reading.

March 13, 2019Comments are off for this post.

iPhone Typography Guidelines

Here’s a quick summary of styles. See below for visual reference and more in-depth guidelines.

ElementSizingNotes
Page titles,
Modal titles
17ptMedium font weight
iOS 10+ page titles are 34pt before scrolling, 17pt once scrolled
Paragraph text,
Links
17pt 
Secondary text15ptLighter color as well
Tertiary text,
Captions,
Segmented buttons
13ptSkip a font size between secondary and tertiary text
Buttons,
Text inputs
17ptHighlight important buttons with medium font weight
Action Bar10ptDon't go smaller than this

 

Let’s break this down element-by-element and look at illustrated examples. We’ll cover not just the actual font sizes, but also how Apple thinks about text styles.

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February 5, 2018Comments are off for this post.

The sizes for custom navigation bar icons

The sizes for custom navigation bar icons are listed in the iOS Human Interface Guidelines here: iOS Human Interface Guidelines — Custom Icons

The sizes are listed as:
iPad Pro, iPad, iPad mini About 44px by 44px
iPhone 6,7,8s, iPhone 6, iPhone SE About 44px by 44px
iPhone 6,7,8s Plus, iPhone 6 Plus About 66px by 66px

The difference is because the iPhone 6,7,8[s] Plus uses the @3x resources while the others use the @2x images. So your @2x and @3x sizes are correct, your @1x image should however be half the size of your @2x image.

October 14, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Choosing between a native, hybrid, or web app for mobile devices

Apple and Android dominate the smartphone market, owning over 90 percent of the industry.

To take advantage of this fact, many companies that already have an app based on one platform look to make it work across both Apple and Android devices. But this isn't as easy as it sounds, and taking shortcuts to do so can have serious consequences.

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October 14, 2017Comments are off for this post.

How to Flash an SD Card for Raspberry Pi

Identify the SD Card - Flashing an SD card is quite straight forward with Mac OS X. Start by pressing CMD SPACE to reveal the Spotlight search bar at the top right hand side of the screen. In this search bar, type terminal and press return to launch the Terminal application.

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October 11, 2017Comments are off for this post.

What are the differences in CSS Font-Sizes: em vs. px vs. pt vs. percent?

It’s easy to understand the difference between font-size units when you see them in action. Generally, 1em = 12pt = 16px = 100%. When using these font-sizes, let’s see what happens when you increase the base font size (using the body CSS selector) from 100% to 120%.

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October 10, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Data drives design

UX design is no longer about designing for a screen, but about designing for the integrated context. When we talk about empathy and our connected experiences, we're talking about something much larger than an Internet of Things. It's really the Experience of Things--everything that we use and interact with in our daily lives is starting to build a computing mesh around us.

October 7, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Practices and design patterns in web typography

Line height (in pixels) ÷ body copy font size (in pixels) = 1.48

1.5 is commonly recommended in classic typographic books, so our study backs up this rule of thumb. Very few websites use anything less than this. And the number of websites that go over 1.48 decreases as you get further from this value.

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© 2019 virtualbrands interactive

© 2018 virtualbrands interactive

© 2017 virtualbrands interactive