Designing for Readability

Designing for Readability

Introduction to designing for readability.

Reading is a common and frequent task for Tablet PC users. Users will employ a tablet pen as a pointing device to move through a document. Hardware manufacturers can choose to provide buttons that are configured by default to page up or page down through a document. Your application can exploit Tablet PC as a reading tool by ensuring that you:

  • Build an application that responds to page-up and page-down events. Although you cannot assume tablet buttons are always configured for these operations, if a hardware manufacturer does build buttons to support this, they or the user can always configure them to these functions. Reading a document with just the buttons to move around is a more pleasant user experience than using a tablet pen the entire time.
  • Use smooth scrolling (real time, no flashing) to allow the user's eye to track the movement, if users employ a scroll bar to move through a document.
  • Consider providing a riffle control that uses a half-second transition time per move and per repeat. A riffle control enables users to flip through pages or screens of content quickly.
  • Provide a rich contrast between the background and the content of the document so that it is readable even when viewed from an angle or when some glare exists.
  • Choose colors with a rich contrast for better readability. Do not use yellows, oranges or other light colors for important items on the screen. Dark colors are easier to distinguish on backlit screens.
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