Communication plays a vital role in design. Whether you design websites, mobile apps, or wearable UIs, your creations have to clearly communicate their intent and purpose. And since text does a lot of the heavy lifting in communicating purpose, you need a solid understanding of typography.
Of course, designing a user interface differs from designing an ebook or blog theme. But the principles of type-centric design still apply. After all, on-screen communication happens through words, and type is the UI of language.
Master typographer Robert Bringhurst opens his magnum opus, The Elements of Typographic Style, with this statement:
Typography exists to honor content
Every interface includes a series of choices the user can make. Your type should support that decision-making process, honoring the content in a way that never adds to the user’s cognitive load. Great typography draws the reader to the content, not to the type itself.
1. Choose a typeface that works well in various sizes
Most user interfaces require text elements of various sizes (button copy, field labels, section headers, etc). Choose a typeface that works well in multiple sizes and weights to maintain readability and usability in every size.