Assessing the Effect of Typography on In-Vehicle Glance-Like Reading Across the Lifespan

Fonts communicate an interface's style and identity, and are also a critical design element of that interface. In safety critical applications such as driving an automobile, basic readability and the ability to quickly target and identify information of interest is critical to reducing workload and preventing distraction. The importance of providing a driver with a visual user interface in which controls can be rapidly identified and information easily read appears self-evident. Previous research has shown that the typeface used in an interface can meaningfully impact driver behavior, as measured by task completion time, error rates, and cumulative glance time to the device screen. Notably, this earlier research manipulated only the typefaces' intrinsic design characteristics (the aesthetic rules that govern the specific shape of the letters), while holding extrinsic factors such as style, size, font weight, and color constant. This project therefore proposes a set of follow-up studies to extend this research. The first study will more directly examine the interaction of intrinsic and extrinsic display factors by varying the size of the displayed typefaces, on the assumption that certain typefaces are designed such that they will scale more cleanly at smaller sizes. The second study examines the relationship between font weight and legibility, a factor that, in some sense, straddles a line between intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The project further hypothesize that legibility thresholds should increase with age, and that overall legibility will interact with age, or in other words, that a typeface configuration that is less legible across the lifespan should be substantially less legible for older readers.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $150000.00
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Start Date: 20131001
  • Expected Completion Date: 20170831
  • Actual Completion Date: 20170831
  • Source Data: RiP Project 39267

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01557119
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: New England University Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC31, MITR25-13
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Mar 18 2015 1:00AM