Talk:OLPC Human Interface Guidelines/The Sugar Interface/Text and Fonts


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Has anybody done any usability testing on screen/keyboard readability and layout?

If you're going to do this, you'll need a wide cross-section of potential users:

- Children of all ages and incomes
- Folks with vision/dexterity issues
- Older folks
- Color-blind
- Computer-literate
- Computer-illiterate
- Language illiterate

Also, there are going to be some cultural/language issues here. Having different keyboards available for different "country kits" is good.


The choice of DejaVu LGS Sans as the default font is poor and shows that there has been no input from someone involved in teaching those learning to read and write. In particular the two storey letter a is one of the biggest problems facing those learning to read and write. On the plus side DejaVu LGS Sans does not compound this with a two storey g. The number 4 also fails, it should be like an upper case L with a line through it. I suggest looking at the SIL Andika font. If you take design review B, and change 7,a,g,t with those from design review A you have a suitable font for children learning to read with a Latin alphabet. --Jabuzzard 18:11, 19 June 2007 (EDT)

I agree, SIL Andika has much better glyphs for learning to read/write. However the font might not be suited for some languages at this point (those requiring some positioning), and might be of lower quality at low resolution. It would need some work to be adequate in most cases. --Moyogo 06:21, 9 October 2007 (EDT)
It should be mentioned that a font can have more than one glyph for the same character. At this point, it's not possible to select with glyph to have through Pango/Gtk+ but that might be doable in the near future. This would mean that the default font could have both two storey and single story g, with the latter used by default, etc. --Moyogo 06:24, 9 October 2007 (EDT)
Stuff like this really ought to be available as system-wide config choices. AlbertCahalan 07:05, 9 October 2007 (EDT)
You can edit /usr/share/sugar/data/sugar-xo.krptc (if I have the suffix right) to change the font style and size. In addition to the other issues raised, sans-serif fonts are VERY hard to read in text blocks. -- 15:49, 5 January 2008 (EST)
The major failing of DejaVu is the totally non-standard lowercase-L in DejaVu Sans Mono. There are far better ways to distinguish lowercase-L from uppercase-I and number-1. As for the other things: a lowercase-G ("g") with two loops is less likely to be confused with a lowercase-P or lowercase-Q, and a lowercase-A with the top shelf part is less likely to be confused with lowercase-O. Kids tend to flip letters around in their minds, so you need to consider that when avoiding letters that could be confused with others. AlbertCahalan 07:05, 9 October 2007 (EDT)
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