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HCIL-87-02

Mills, C., Weldon, L. (1987)
Reading text from computer screens
ACM Computing Surveys, 19 (4), 329-358.
HCIL-87-02, CS-TR-1449, CAR-TR-94

This paper reviews empirical studies concerning the readability of information from computer screens. The review focuses on the form and physical attributes of complex, realistic displays of text material. Studies comparing paper and computer screen readability show that screens are less readable than paper. There are many potential factors that could lead to improvements in screen readability. Those explored in this review are size, width, design, and case of characters on the computer screen, the formatting of the screen, and the effects of color. In addition, a brief discussion of physiological and physical influences on readability and workstation design was included. Conclusions based on the empirical findings are offered to the designer for improving screen readability. Numerous areas for future research are pinpointed.


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