Thank you so much to KNITSONIK School students for participating in my font survey last week and to those of you who took the time to comment here. I appreciate your thoughtful responses. Some of you have expressed interest in this conversation about accessibility and in the outcome of the survey, so I’ve tried to summarise key points below.
Many of you kindly acknowledged that it’s impossible to accommodate every individual requirement for The Perfect Font – I agree but am still really interested in seeing if I can do better with my fonts and course materials design work going forward.
One of you asked if I can feasibly present course materials in multiple fonts. The answer is no. It’s for this reason that I’m trying to get good a good template established at the start.
10% of students surveyed have dyslexia or another form of neurological difference. Of this 10%, several of you shared that Helvetica is clearer and easier for you to read than Dyslexie or OpenDyslexic.
35% of KNITSONIK School students identify as having eyesight issues that affect reading activities.
83% of survey respondents found Helvetica easier to read on the video slide example provided when compared to Dyslexie or OpenDyslexic. Of the remaining 17%, there was an even split of preference for OpenDyslexic and Dyslexie.
Of students surveyed, 42% of you had never given any consideration to fonts used in the KNITSONIK School. 10% of you actively dislike the current fonts used, and 36% like the current fonts. A small percentage of you – 12% – really like the current fonts.
In terms of changing the fonts, 90% said you like this idea, 10% said you don’t.
I was really heartened by the thoughtful responses to my more open question at the end; so many of you care about accessibility and want my courses to be as accessible as possible, and many of you shared helpful things about your own experiences of my content. Thank you so much. A couple of you have shared that the current fonts are particularly difficult for you. I’m sorry about that; this is exactly why I decided to conduct this survey.
Someone helpfully pointed me to the Atkinson Hyperlegible Font developed by the Braille Institute, while another person reminded me how the more basic fonts – like Arial or Helvetica – are more familiar, which helps with readability. Many of you, in your written feedback, expressed a preference for simpler fonts.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was discovering just how many of you like the current fonts because they feel friendly and do not look like work.
For many of you, it seems that OpenDyslexic and Dyslexie have associations with fun, craft, play and friendliness – and they stand out positively for those reasons.
I’m no statistician, but there are a few things that really stand out to me:
- 83% of you found Helvetica easier to read than Dyslexie or OpenDyslexic.
- 90% of you feel positive about a change of font.
- Dyslexie and OpenDyslexic are not improving the usability of the course for the full 10% of you with dyslexia or other neurological difference.
- Nobody has written to say that Dyslexie and OpenDyslexic are key to making my courses accessible, whereas several of you seem to find these fonts actually make the written content in my school less accessible.
All this suggests to me that I can pick better fonts for designing my next course.
I’m working on video content currently and have been tinkering with fonts on the title slides.
I’m looking at fonts that are clear and sans-serif, but that also have that really important friendly feeling.
Just this morning, someone commented on KNITSONIK Bullet Journaling to express their appreciation for the warmth of the course. For me, that’s really key and represents another form of accessibility. I’ve been researching sans serif fonts that will be clear to read while also not looking too formal or like work.
With those factors in mind, these are the fonts I’m looking at for the video slides:
Real Head Pro
I really don’t want to spam online school users with surveys or to overwhelm myself with more input than I can handle, so I won’t be sending out further surveys about fonts. However, if you have feedback on my shortlist of four that you’d like to share, please pop it in the comments below or email it to school at knitsonik dot com.
Thank you so much for your feedback and for helping me with this – I really appreciate it.
Yours in the search for fun and accessible sans serif fonts,