Why is Typography Important in UI Design

Published on February 6, 2024

Zignuts Technolab

Why is Typography Important in UI Design?
Why Typography important in UI design
UX Designing

When it comes to creating a compelling and aesthetically appealing UI for website and/or mobile applications, typography plays a crucial role and entails numerous benefits including but not limited to the following:

What Is Typography?

Typography is the art of arranging a typeface in the right combination of shape, size, and spacing. Check out this article for more information about Typography.

The primary purpose of typography is readability, accessibility, and hierarchy. A UI designer’s job is to ensure that the text is:

  • Clear and readable. Alphabets need to be distinguishable from one another. The space between letters, words, and sentences needs to be consistent.
  • Accessible. The text should be readable for users with blindness, vision loss, and reading disorders.
  • Hierarchy. Users need to be able to differentiate information of varying importance.

Let us look at an example to demonstrate this. Below is the screenshot of the home page of Apple.

what is typography

On the clarity and readability scale, the page scores high. The title is in dark grey and large font, making clear what we’re reading about. The links in blue indicate they’re clickable. The small arrow next to the links indicates they take you to another page.

For some users, the light grey text of the description might be too light, affecting accessibility. However, given it is the least important information on the page, it can be comfortably skipped.

The visual hierarchy of information is clear as it can be. The product is introduced in large title font. The core value of speed—“Blast past fast”—is written in heading-level font to attract attention. Though they come forth in the order of arrangement, the links are the third most important item in the hierarchy. They are written in blue to reiterate their importance.

As you can see here, the font size, font weight, color, and relative location play a significant role in typography design. Here’s why.

Importance of Typography in Design

Given that a vast majority of the information online is presented as text, the importance of typography cannot be understated. While the images and design elements can be striking, it is the text that often communicates the message. To ensure that the message is communicated clearly, in the proper order, in a short span of time, typography is critical. Here’s what good typography can do for visual design.

Typography Acts as a Visual Communication Tool

Typography entails the use of one or more display fonts. Any user visiting a website or viewing an app screen first scans the page to find the exact information they are looking for. Only if they find the design elements and texts legible and engaging enough, do they actually stay on the page and continue to use it. Even if the user chooses to stay on the page, informative and fairly clear typography is required to ensure that they consume the content in an intended manner.

Typography Adds to the Readability and Accessibility of the UI

Good typography forms the basis of an immersive user experience, by enhancing the user’s ability to read, consume and navigate through the content in a rather seamless manner.

Typography Helps Set a Consistent Tone

It should come as no surprise that choosing typefaces and other elements of typography can help create a consistent tone for a brand. For instance, an app designed to be used for toddlers should use fonts that are colorful, fun, and eye-catching. On the other hand, a website with lawyers as its target audience is bound to use plain and simple typography which sends the message across without causing any distractions whatsoever.

Typography Distinguishes the Website-App from others

Typography Distinguishes the Website-App from others

While the typeface is largely restricted to the target audience that a website/app is designed for, when combined with the brand message, color palette, and overall design concept, the typography helps make the website/app look and feel truly unique. In fact, it is not unusual for a long-term customer/user to distinguish a brand in a crowd, simply based on the typography. Now, isn’t that truly impressive?😎

Typography Helps The Business Increase Sales

Good typography incentivizes the users to stay on the website/app for comparatively longer durations. Moreover, carefully curated typography helps draw the attention of the user to the targeted messages. This increases their chances of responding to call-to-action messages and purchasing the products or services.

Tips on Improving Typography

Now that we have outlined the role of good typography in UI design, let us go on to understand how exactly designers can curate compelling typography! Here are some tips that can prove to be of help in this regard.  

Choosing Typeface According to The Business Type and Targeted Audience

Since every typeface and font is characterized by some distinct features, each of them stands a chance to give the user a completely distinguished feel. Hence, designers must choose a typeface that is fitting to the overall theme of the website/app, while also being ideal for attracting the attention of the intended users.

Avoid the Use of Multiple Typefaces

Avoid the Use of Multiple Typefaces

Given the impact that a typeface can create, it may be tempting to use more than just a handful. However, as a rule of thumb, you should never use more than two typefaces. This will help ensure a consistent look and feel throughout the website/app, thereby allowing for seamless readability with minimal distractions.

Make the Best Use of White Space and Text Space

 Make the Best Use of White Space and Text Space

While it may seem like a great idea to fill the interface with large amounts of text in the name of the user’s convenience, this can often prove to be off-putting. Hence, it is crucial that you make use of ample white space (aka negative space) between the elements, graphics and text such that the page looks neat, and seems inviting to the user.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the page needs to look too empty. You have to strike the right balance to keep the user engaged, without getting them too distracted.

Again, the same principle applies to the various blocks of text that form the design. The left margin, the line height, and the letter spacing within the text should encourage ease of readability, rather than being too crowded to the point that the user gets repelled by it. As and when appropriate, try using center-aligned text, as it catches the user’s attention more easily.

Ensure that the Typography is Scalable

A great website or app is one that is responsive on all devices alike and all OS. Hence, make sure you choose the typography that can easily scale from a smartphone to a tablet and even a computer screen. Moreover, also ensure that your team is aware of the scale guidelines for all platforms, like Android, iOS, and Web platforms. After all, the visual appeal of the content and the user interface must be equally impactful regardless of the device from which it is being accessed.

Make Use of Visual Contrast

Whether it is using a font color that is in stark contrast with the background, using upper and lowercase letters to draw attention, or simply using Bold or Italic text styles, you must make every effort possible to ensure that the important text blocks on the page stand out from the generic body text. This is especially true for headers, subheaders, as well as call-to-action buttons.

Make the Copy Animated

Animating the copy, especially banners, headers and subheaders can not only help grab the user's attention more swiftly but can even ensure higher engagement rates. That said, keep the animations light and aesthetically pleasing, and don’t try to go over the top. If done the wrong way, the movable type of text can distract the user rather than engage them.

The Zignuts Take

Typography holds paramount importance in UI design as it plays a crucial role in shaping the visual and functional aspects of user interfaces. The careful selection of fonts, styles, and layouts significantly influences how users perceive and interact with digital interfaces. Effective typography enhances readability, establishes visual hierarchy, and contributes to a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing design. It not only communicates information but also influences the overall user experience, making it a key element in creating intuitive and engaging user interfaces.

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Why is Typography Important in UI Design?

Why is Typography Important in UI Design?
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