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Choosing font for the product using blind testing method

Fonts we choose have great potential to take product UX to the next level. Thats why, its a place where everybody has an opinion. Font for a product can be decided in plenty of ways. Like, sometimes we just pick one of the popular font or  spend hours to weeks glancing through fonts used in various products or simply decide by evaluating sharpness of one font with another and so on. After using them in our designs, we present it to stakeholders for feedback. Round of opinion pours in and at times it does impact our decision which causes us to rethink about the chosen font. But when it doesn’t impact, we defend font choice based on its legibility, popularity, sharpness etc.

As you see now that ‘opinion’ of stakeholders can either cause change of mind in us or we end up putting effort (discuss, justify etc) in changing their mind. In short, this scenario, makes us think and talk a lot more than required. And situation often tend to get more complicated due to our biases towards fonts.

This scenario can be easily eliminated by using blind testing method. In this method, we present designs to our stakeholders without telling them font details. Here’s what blind testing method looks like

  • Let’s assume F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7 are the chosen fonts here.

    See the Pen Blind Test – Base Font 14px by Somnath (@shomu) on CodePen.

  • Shortlist 4-5 fonts by doing format testing. Write one line statement with each font type in HTML and preview in browser.
    • Preview them in a smallest and base font size which is to be used in your product.

      See the Pen Blind Test – Format Testing by Somnath (@shomu) on CodePen.

    • Preview them in bold, italic.
    • Preview them in different operating systems.
  • After shortlisting, take feedback from 5-10 colleagues without telling them font name. Ask them
  • Write a paragraph with each font type. Reorder the font arrangement. Take feedback from same people.

    See the Pen Blind Test – Paragraph by Somnath (@shomu) on CodePen.

  • Shortlist the most liked ones now. Lets assume people liked F1, F3 and F4 the most.
  • If you have some HTML mocks ready, test it with F1, F3 and F4 and preview each in browser. Take feedback from colleagues again.
  • By this time, you will have good enough insights to make a decision.
Using this method we were able to eliminate font bias on both sides and arrive at decision in  just 2 – 3 hours. If you too have got stuck for days over choosing a right font than do try this method and let us know your feedback.

Published in UX


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