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Transportation Science

MIT Researchers Show Dash Font Choice Affects Distraction 147

bdking writes "A typeface family commonly found on the devices installed in many modern cars is more likely to cause drivers to spend more time looking away from the road than an alternative typeface tested in two studies, according to new research from MIT's AgeLab." It seems that the closed letter forms of Grotesque type faces require slightly more time to read than open letter forms of Humanist type faces, just enough that it could be problematic at highway speeds.
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MIT Researchers Show Dash Font Choice Affects Distraction

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  • by fantomas ( 94850 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @03:23AM (#41460917)

    Well it wouldn't matter if you weren't texting while doing 70 on the highway! :-)

    ok, I am sure the article is about the fonts on the dashboard or something like that but really, the number of drivers I see texting while they are rolling a ton of metal along at high speeds is ridiculous.

  • by Rainer ( 42222 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @05:40AM (#41461557)

    So what font should you choose on your web site ?

    Your user's preferred font in their preferred size and with their preferred colors.

  • by BetterSense ( 1398915 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @09:08AM (#41462891)
    I tried to read you post, but all I got was *fap fap*saccades*fap fap*

    Our eyes may use saccades at the hardware level, but we compose images with our brains' DSP (ASP?). The fact that the eyes jump around is interesting but means approximately nothing.

    I think it's safe to say that nobody sees the world in jerky motion from eyeballs moving jerkily. For that matter, the high-resolution fovea in the human eye only subtends a few degrees of arc, but you just never notice, because the brain has heavy-duty processing power that synthesizes a high-resolution picture of the world through image-stitching. You can only focus at once distance at a time, but we don't really notice that either. We have stereo vision which means that we see double-images of things, but we don't really notice any double-images. We can see our noses 24 hours a day, but don't notice that either. If you want to try a fun experiment, go into an absolutely dark room, stare straight ahead, and fire a camera flash. Do not move your eyes. You will see a bright, very realistic image of the entire room for many seconds if you can avoid moving (saccading?) your eyes. You see the perfectly bright room, even in the absolute dark, because if you don't move your eyes, it's probably still accurate. As soon as you move your eyes, though, the image disappears, as your brain flushes it like cache data that can no longer be trusted. Sort of a visual cortex version of copy-on-write.

    Typeface design is visual art. Visual artists have known for hundreds of years that certain shapes are pleasing, and how certain lines can draw your attention to certain features of an image, and how certain colors can influence mood. I'm sure it's all completely bunk though, after all, I read on Slasdot about saccades, so now I can dismiss another huge swath of scary subjective human experience and fence it safely out of the lonely introverted enclave that is my nerd existence.
  • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @09:15AM (#41462957) Journal

    Don't bother. A majority of people on here don't believe in personal responsibility. They believe they can do whatever they want without consequence because someone else will pick up the tab.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor