Typography is a commonly forgotten and overlooked aspect of your website. After all, people are coming to your page for your content right? However, did you know most people will judge if the content on your page is worthy of their consumption even before beginning to read it? That’s right judging the book by it’s cover and typography is one of the largest judgement factors. It’s a subconscious type of judging, we all do it without even realizing it. The typography is hence, the first impression your critical viewers are getting of you and your page. In order to improve your first impression and gain more conversions you’ve got a lot to learn about typography.
Not to mention, typography was actually one of the largest trends for visual design on websites in 2014. People are beginning to catch on the significant effects typography has on increasing the usability of your website therefore improving your user’s experience and significant driving up your numbers of conversions.
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infographic courtesy of: Quicksprout.
The effect on MoodDr. Kevin Larson, Microsoft and Dr. Rosalind Picard, MIT orchestrated a research about the ‘Aesthetics of Reading’. Specifically, for our purposes about the effect typography has on our mood and cognitive performance. The research consisted of 20 participants, half of the participants received text with nice typography while the other half received poor typography. The results found that those with nice typography underestimated the the time they would spend reading the article, and they actually rated the article as generally more interesting than those with the poor typography.
After the text was completed the participants were asked to complete two non-related problem solving tasks. The group with good typography successfully completed 52% of the task while the group with the poor typography only completed 48%. Picard and Larson attributed the success of the nice typography group to them being in a better mood, which in turn made them better problem solvers.
When it comes to your site, you want everyone to be in a good mood and high spirits upon entering. Since it’s your first impression of the site you want your typography to put your customer in a good mood so they’ll spend more time on your site and be more likely to purchase.
The effect on comprehensionThe first telp in the text acquisition process is visually acquiring the information. Meaning, if you have a high level of legibility in your website’s typography your audience is going to have a greater ability to be able to read your text. The way that the comprehension process works in our brain is by expending a certain amount of energy on memory, and a small portion of brain energy on automatically decoding the text. If too much energy is needed from the brain to recognize the words, less energy is being used for your memory to comprehend and recall the reading.
A research conducted at the University of Northern Iowa found statistically significant results showing that fonts with a serif or sans serif font were 10% more likely to recall information accurately than those with other fonts. The different experimental groups read the exact same article about Tuberculosis and were told prior to the reading that they would be asked to answer questions afterward. Serif fonts are your Times, Century, Palatino, etc. they all match up at the top and bottom of each letter. Adobe TypeKit is a tool that offers a library full of all of the Serif fonts and stores them for you in the cloud. Since the recall is greater using these fonts by working this into the typography on your site can make your customers remember your message more easily.
How Do You Select the Appropriate Typeface?Choosing the right typeface to represent your business and website can be a largely overwhelming experience. Every time you select the ‘font’ button you’re presented with hundreds of selections to personify your website. Although so many of the fonts are expressive and may give your company the beautiful impression you want to give off, this typeface might not be the best option for your customers to comprehend and retain your message.
Remember that your content is the message you want to get across to your users and if the typography is too overpowering you’re only distracting from your main goal. Emaze, an online presentation tool, creates dazzling templates with typefaces that fit the personality of your presentation while optimizing the font, sizes, colors, etc. for the best possible user experience. They allow you to select the typography most fitting to your brand, and at the same time they’re all highly comprehensible by the user.
Of course, the best way to see if you’ve selected the best typography for your site is through a/b testing. Test different typefaces on your landing page and see which one converts best. Typewonder is a super useful tool that allows you to enter the URL of your site and they’ll show you your site in a wide variety of typefaces making it easy for you to quickly select which looks best.
What typefaces work best for your website? How did you select which one suits you best? Did you find it made a big difference in your conversions?
Author Bio: Robert Nachum is a growth and marketing manager at Ranky. He loves startups, technology and music on a vinyl.