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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I am designing an iPhone app that will display the time of

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I am designing an iPhone app that will display the time of day in the largest, most-legible font possible given the size of the phone screen. We've zeroed in on two fonts to choose from, but want to get an expert opinion on our font legibility, so that we can make a substantive claim about our app, e.g., "visible from XX feet away by someone with 2/XX vision." or "designed in consultation with a certified opthamologist ..."

Links to the two designs:
1) mottstudios.com/samples/BLACK_crystal.jpg
2) mottstudios.com/samples/BLACK_liberation.jpg

To phrase this as a series of questions, I'm asking:
1. Can you give an opinion on which of these designs would be considered more legible?
2. Is there some existing data or research officially sanctioned by the AOA (or similar agency) that we can use to back up our claims or guide us in our design?
3. Is there a standard method to calculate legibility for someone with 20/N eyesight standing XX feet away?

Hope this makes sense!

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

Are you available to chat?

Customer :

Yes I am. Thanks.

Customer :

Does my question (questions, really) make sense?

Dr. Rick :

I am happy to give you an "eye expert" opinion on which font is most legible. As far as the AAO etc having tested different fonts for legibility the best place to obtain an answer to that question would be The Society for the Blind, The lighthouse, and possibly the Macular degeneration society

Dr. Rick :

Yes

Dr. Rick :

There is a standard eye chart used to clinical studies that has a given contrast per unit volume at a given lux of illumination. Is that something like you were wondering about?

Customer :

Maybe ... we'd love to be able to say "visible in daylight at 12 feet (across the room) by someone with 20/xx vision." or "visible on your nightstand by someone with 20/xx vision". Granted, perhaps "20/xx" isn't approrpate.

Dr. Rick :

Well, actually, that isn't such a bad measure of how easy it is to see your font. The best way to test this would be, of course, to display it on an iphone in a constant room illumination and then get a few people with known degrees of vision to look at the screen at a given (or various) distances and see how they do reading your font. The easiest way to do this would be to pair up with an ophthalmologist.

Dr. Rick :

You could either find patients with various uncorrected vision of 20/20, 20/40 20/60 etc and record how they see your font. Or you could "fake" the poor vision by blurring a normal persons vision with plus or minus lenses in the phoropter (the thing the eye doc uses to test you for glasses: "which is better, one or two?" etc) to a given vision such as 20/40 and then record their response

Customer :

OK, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you. And thanks for the names of the other societies. What would your opinion of the two options be?

Dr. Rick :

Of the fonts you listed?

Customer :

I posted two images. Here's one: http://mottstudios.com/samples/BLACK_liberation.jpg

Customer :

And here's the second: http://mottstudios.com/samples/BLACK_crystal.jpg

Dr. Rick :

They didn't post but let me go to the two links. Be right back.

Dr. Rick :

I like the first font with the thicker white letters. They both have excellent contrast but from a further distance I believe the first one will be easier to read. Does that help?

Customer :

That helps. Thank you very much for your time today.

Dr. Rick :

my pleasure.

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