Reading on the Computer Screen: Does Font Type has Effects on Web Text Readability?

  •  Ahmad Zamzuri Ali    
  •  Rahani Wahid    
  •  Khairulanuar Samsudin    
  •  Muhammad Idris    


Reading on the World Wide Web has become a daily habit nowadays. This can be seen from the perspective of changes on readers’ tendency to be more interested in materials from the internet, than the printed media. Taking these developments into account, it is important for web-based instructional designers to choose the appropriate font, especially for long blocks of text, in order to enhance the level of students’ readability. Accordingly, this study aims to evaluate the effects of serif and san serif font in the category of screen fonts and print fonts, in terms of Malay text readability on websites. For this purpose, four fonts were selected, namely Georgia (serif) and Verdana (san serif) for the first respondents and Times New Roman (serif) and Arial (san serif) for the second respondents. Georgia and Verdana were designed for computer screens display. Meanwhile, Times New Roman and Arial were originally designed for print media. Readability test on a computer screen was conducted on 48 undergraduates. Overall, the results showed that there was no significant difference between the redability of serif and san serif font of both screen display category and print display category. Accordingly, the research findings and the literature overview, suggest that Verdana and followed by Georgia as the better choice in displaying long text on websites. Likewise, as anticipated, Times New Roman and Arial fonts provide good readability for print media, which reinfoces their status as the printing font category. However, with the current computer screen capability, it can still be an alternative option for instructional web developers.

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