Tag Archives: mobile typography

bright_vibe_calendar_app_ui_tubik

Mobile Typography: 8 Steps Toward Powerful UI.

Mobile design heavily depends on every detail it consists of. Screens are quite small so designers need to choose elements thoughtfully trying not to overload user interface. Such a peculiarity makes typography creation for a mobile rather tough task. Mobile typography requires deep attention to the details from an appropriate kind of fonts to compelling tracking and alignment.

 

No matter how challenging it sounds, designers strive to build effective mobile design because smartphones are a huge part of our life. The article describes essential principles for compelling mobile typography.

 

tubikstudio ui app design

 

High level of legibility

 

Legibility is called a level of how distinguishable and recognizable the words and characters are in a text. The major objective of powerful typography is clear text which users perceive without efforts. Small screens and ambient light of mobile devices may become a problem on the way to creating legible typography. To avoid problems with legibility, designers need to consider all the factors influencing clarity of text.

 

Font size

 

In terms of mobile typography, the size does really matter. Some may think that on small screens tiny fonts will work best. It’s a misbelief. Small fonts on a bright mobile screen can make user’s eyes hurt from tension and bring a headache. Of course, modern devices allow screen zooming still it’s not always convenient for users to spare an unnecessary effort. Fonts in mobile UI should be big enough for users to read easily but not too big to save typographic hierarchy. The appropriate font size is a key to pleasing UX.

 

Leading

 

As we’ve mentioned in our previous article, leading is the spacing between the baselines of copy. In a mobile interface, leading is usually smaller compared to a desktop version. Wide leading may ruin the visual unity of text while too short space makes it badly legible. If a leading is done right, readers go fast from one text line to another and big pieces of copy become legible.

 

todo list UI app tubik studio

To-Do List App

 

Line length

 

To make body copy comfortable for reading in mobile interface, designers consider all the parameters including length of text lines. Optimal line length for a desktop screen won’t work same for mobile. Too long lines would go beyond screen borders, that is why designers are recommended to keep the number of character per line within 30-40.

 

White space

 

When design elements are tightly gathered in a bunch, the user interface looks messy and navigation is rather difficult. Designers need to give elements space to breathe bringing a relief to users’ eyes and mind. The size of mobile screens doesn’t allow using much of white space that’s why a balance between the elements has to be found.

 

UI animation wine app

Wine Year App

 

Fewer levels of hierarchy

 

Visual hierarchy is applied to organize content in interfaces clearly so that users could distinguish layout objects on the basis of their physical differences, such as size, color, contrast, alignment etc. Hierarchy divides content into levels assisting users to learn copy content gradually step by step without effort and get oriented in the digital product.

 

Web design usually contains three levels of copy content which include such elements as headings, subheaders, body copy, CTA buttons, and captions. However, small mobile screens don’t provide enough space for three levels, so designers apply only two. Elements of a secondary level such as subheaders step aside to make UI look clean.

 

mobile app design tubik studio

Moneywise App

 

Simplicity of fonts

 

A key feature of effective mobile UI is simplicity. Design should be clear and the navigation easy to use, so font choices have to be based on the requirements. First of all, it is recommended to keep a number of fonts within two or three to make text look solid. Designers often stop their choice on two types of fonts for mobile interfaces because it requires fewer levels of hierarchy than web design.

 

Moreover, kinds of fonts should also fit a simple and clean style. Novelty and decorative fonts may look illegible on small screens. Designers regularly combine a serif and sans-serif fonts to create enough contrast of copy elements in the layout. In addition, it’s good to reduce effects like a shadow for mobile fonts. On desktop screens, they may work nice but will make small mobile screens look overloaded.

 

book swap app interaction design

Book Swap Interactions

 

Delicate contrast

 

Contrast is an efficient tool for designers. It helps highlight vital UI elements as well as contribute a desirable level of text legibility. However, speaking of mobile interfaces, contrast may play a bad joke. Small screens, ambient light, and short fonts make a contrast image look unpleasant for users’ eyes. Reducing contrast between the background and copy elements, designers help users feel comfortable while reading text on a mobile screen.

 

Contrast can be created not only via colors but with sizes of fonts to set visual hierarchy. Nevertheless, mobile interfaces are short of space for giant headings, that’s why size contrast should be also reduced.

 

jewellery ecommerce app

Jewellery E-Commerce App

 

Responsive typography

 

People surf the Internet via all devices available today. That’s why responsive design is a key condition for a successful digital product. Typography is a vital part of design responsiveness. Wrong size, width, and placement of fonts have a big impact on a whole composition. Even the most insignificant changes may break the balance between all design elements.

 

Creating typography for a digital product, designers need to consider how it will look on different devices. Planning such things forehead helps to avoid unnecessary problems in the future.

 

cinema app interaction ui animation

Cinema App

 

Prioritized content

 

To make mobile interfaces simple and useful, designers need to take care of the wise content organization. Users want to have a fast access to information they are looking for and mobile screens can make the process complicated.

 

Mobile UI has no room for unnecessary copy elements. There should be only essential content thoughtfully prioritized. Based on users’ needs and preferences, designers set a structure assisting people to navigate within the product and find what they are searching for. Text elements are prioritized by size changes as well as different width or kind of font.

 

tubik_studio_book_swap

Book App

 

Clear text rags

 

Depending on the type of a product, designers apply appropriate alignment for text blocks. It can be placed on the left, on the right, centrally or it can be justified. However, speaking of mobile design many experts often stop their choice on left side alignment. This kind forms text where the beginning of each line is placed equally and the rags look similar to stairways. Such a structure helps users easily go from one text line to another and scan text fast and easily. If body copy alignment is justified (text lines placed equally), it has no rags either side. The text with such structure is difficult to scan on a mobile screen.

 

tubik studio healthy food animation

Healthy Food App

 

Functional typography

 

While computer users do the clicks and scrolling to interact with products, mobile screens should provide much more functionality. There are many text elements in mobile interfaces that allow users to accomplish certain actions like buying a product, making a call, going to a website and others.

 

Designers need to make sure users understand how the text elements work and enable them to complete the actions. Functional typography should be highlighted among the other and clickable elements should be big enough to tap on them.

 

menu_interactions_ui_animation_tubik

Menu Interactions

 

Things to jot down

 

Minimalism. Mobile screens are short of space, so try not to overload it. Simple fonts, clean style, and a minimum of elements will do their job.

Test the smallest first. Mobile devices have various sizes but the biggest problem is the smallest. Create your design based on how it will look on the tiny screens first. When it’s ready, you can easily adapt it to the bigger sizes.

Avoid decorative and cursive fonts. They don’t render properly on the small screens. Moreover, decorative fonts overload interface with unnecessary details.

Legibility first. Of course, it’s good to make beautiful catchy UI but sometimes all the colors, contrast, original fonts may hurt the legibility of copy content. A good-looking text is not enough. Make sure it is legible otherwise users won’t be able to read information and use your product properly.

 
jewellery ecommerce app UI

Jewellery App

 

Every mobile UI design project is an interesting challenge. Meet it with the knowledge and the results will please you.

 

Recommended reading

 

Meaningful Mobile Typography by UXPin group

 

Mobile UI Design: 15 Basic Types of Screens.

 

7 Simple Rules for Mobile Typography

 

Typography in UI: Guide for Beginners


Welcome to see the designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance

typography tips for designers

8 Typography Tips For Designers: How to Make Fonts Speak.

Typography is a way of communication with users. Visual performance and readability of copy in digital products have the great impact on user experience. One of guru graphic designers, Hoon Kim, once said: «Typographic design is visible as well as audible. If you have a great scenario, now it is time to cast good actors.» Typography can become a voice of design. Appropriate typography speaks for itself setting the right mood and transferring a certain message to users. Today’s article presents tips which will assist you in creating of effective typography.

 

Typographic hierarchy makes things work

 

To create a design pleasant for users’ perception, all its elements should be well organized and clear to navigate. Designers set a proper structure by establishing a visual hierarchy. It organizes all the visual elements so that users could easily perceive content.

 

Visual hierarchy can be divided into different parts. One of them related only to the copy elements is called typographic hierarchy. It aims at organizing copy content by dividing it into various types such as headings, subheadings, body copy, captions and others. The differences between the types of copy are set by regulation of family, sizes, width, and colors of fonts.

 

Clear typographic hierarchy makes text legible and easy to scan. Moreover, it’s simple to highlight key parts of the text to draw users’ attention and hitch them to the expected actions.

 

mood messenger landing page

Mood Messenger Landing Page

 

Consider context and audience

 

When it comes to the choice of fonts, an essential thing to consider is a context of a copy and a potential audience. Each font brings its own mood to a layout. There are friendly, funny, serious, business, and many other fonts that will fit a certain design.

 

Before you choose a font, you need to learn your client’s goals as well as needs and preferences of a target audience. Visual performance of fonts influences the first impression users get from the product. If the kind of font doesn’t fit the mood which the product aims at, there can be a misunderstanding with the audience. For example, if a designer chooses a font which looks too fun and silly for a business website, users will hesitate if the company is trustworthy. Or, if a product is meant for youngsters, too formal fonts may seem boring.

 

web design florist store ecommerce

Florist E-Commerce Website

 

Deep attention to mobile typography

 

Designers often do the experiments with typography to make a project original. However, when it comes to mobile UI design, typographers are literally short of space. Mobile screens are quite small which sets a new challenge for designers to cope with restrictions without loss of sense and functionality. Mobile typography requires deep attention to the details from an appropriate size of fonts to compelling tracking and line length.

 

Compared to web design, mobile typography is harder to reach a good legibility. The font size shouldn’t be too small because on tiny screens it will look like an illegible mess. Moreover, if the text is too big, it won’t fit the small screen too. In addition, designers need to care about the level of contrast since a screen with ambient light and high contrast can hurt users’ eyes.

 

Furthermore, a designer should think of the typography functionality. Smartphone UI includes clickable text parts and designers need to make sure users manage to use them. If these parts are too small, people can’t press it with a finger and it’s rather annoying.

 

Considering all the tiny details in mobile typography, designers can bring valuable products for users.

 

UI animation wine app

WineYard App

 

Minimalism can’t hurt

 

Sometimes, when designers aim at showing all the facets of a digital product, they try to use lots of various styles and fonts all in a single design. As a result, they get a design overloaded with unnecessary distracting details and lacking a proper mood.

 

Experts usually try to keep a number of fonts within two or three for the same layout. It allows making an essential contrast between copy elements along with saving the balance and right message of a design. Applying different styles (bold, italic) should also be minimal. They are good for emphasizing really important parts but the overuse of them can make the text look messy.

 

Also, copy content shouldn’t overwhelm users with the unnecessary information. Of course, it’s a writer’s job to create appropriate text still designers need to collaborate with them to make sure the text will fit a design.

 

upper app UI design case study

Upper App

 

Text needs to breath

 

Legibility level highly relies on how much space there is between letters, words, and text lines. Tracking, kerning and leading are the processes of white space adjustment between the typographic elements. White space is the area between elements in a design composition.

 

A lack of white space may end in the bad legibility of copy content because it is difficult to distinguish words which are placed too tight to each other. Appropriate white space brings a visual relief to users’ eyes and allows going easily from one word to another, from one line to the next. However, try not to overuse it otherwise it can ruin text unity.

 

dance_academy_website_interactions_tubik

Dance Academy landing page

 

Build typography like a scientist, revise like an artist

 

Typography is a complex science consisting of many rules and regulations. Those who covered them are able to create clean working typography. However, it’s is not enough. Clients always require originality and emotion but it can’t be done only by following the written instruction.

 

Designers should never bury their artistic souls. Imagination and the sense of beauty bring the uniqueness in any project, even the most casual one. Find the balance between the strict rules and unordinary choices, and the results may surprise you and your customers.

 

web design UI tubik studio

The Gourmet Website

 

Colorful typography needs thoughtfulness

 

The topic is actively debated. Some think there is no room for color in typography and some claim it’s a must-have for good-looking design. There is no point in looking for the right side of the dispute because there is no accounting for taste. Nevertheless, colorful typography does exist and designers apply it quite often.

 

Among the advantages of colorful typography, let’s mention the element of emotion it adds to any UI as well as the ability to highlight points of interests for users. Moreover, each color may transfer a certain message since it has an influence on users’ mind and behavior.

 

To take all the benefits, colorful typography should be applied thoughtfully and carefully because it’s easy to turn UI into a colorful chaos. Here is the useful checklist for this case:

 

Make it contrast. A big problem which colorful typography may bring is bad legibility. Proper contrast between the fonts and background will help to avoid it. However, make sure the contrast looks pleasant and doesn’t hurt the eyes.
 
Don’t use too many colors. Again, try not to turn UI into a mess. Too many colors look distractive and amateur.
 
Color harmony. Remember the basics of art lessons. Use the color wheel and schemes to choose the proper palette.
 
Be careful with effects. Fluorescent, luminescent, metallic, and glowing colors have their peculiarities and they may not always look good on a digital screen.

 

book swap app interaction design

Book Swap App

 

Learn the basics of typography

 

It may sound too obvious still some designers ignore learning basics of typography science. They rely on modern tools which automatically choose the fonts or just hope aesthetic features of chosen fonts would be enough. Such an approach seems like learning to read without knowledge of the alphabet.

 

Designers who don’t know the concepts and the anatomy of typefaces can’t use the potential of typography at the full strength. Everyone decides for oneself if they need to learn the science in depth but the basics is a foundation of every craft.

 

The experts working on the problem of harmonical usage of fonts gladly share their knowledge that’s why there are so many useful books on typography for designers. As the recommended reading we can name

 

tubik typography and design books

 

Recommended reading

 

Here are some articles providing useful tips and tricks in typography.

Do’s and Don’Ts of Typography

The 8 biggest typography mistakes designers make

10 typography tricks every designer should know

Typography in UI: Guide for Beginners.

Tips on Applying Copy Content in User Interfaces


Welcome to see the designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance

typography in UI design web mobile

Typography in UI: Guide for Beginners.

People read all the time. It’s not only books or magazines but various info on the Internet, adverts in the streets, in public transport or outside shops. However, only minority of readers may know how much time and effort often stand behind a single line. When we easily read a copy feeling comfortable and relaxed, many thanks go to a designer. Text arrangement and the aesthetic look of fonts are among designers’ top priorities. To create effective UI and clear UX designers learn basics of typography science. Today’s article covers basic points in typography which every professional designer should comprehend and apply in work.

 

What’s typography?

 

Typography is something bigger than just a design technique. A Canadian typographer, Robert Bringhurst, in his book The Elements of Typographic Style defines typography as the craft of endowing human language with a durable visual form. In addition, typography transforms language into a decorative visual element.

 

Typography has a much longer history than the design or the Internet itself. First, it appeared approximately in the 11-12 centuries when people invented movable type system. A real typography revolution started after the Gutenberg Bible, the first major book printed via movable metal type, which marked the beginning of the age of the printed book in the West. The style of type used in Gutenberg Bible is now known as Textualis (Textura) and Schwabacher.

 

Nowadays, it is more than just copy printing and organization. Commonly, typography is defined as the art and science of font style, appearance, and structure which aims at delivering the aesthetic and easily readable copy to readers. Not that long ago, it was a specialized study for editorial office workers but now the science is applied in different spheres and plays a significant role in design.

 

The role of typography in design

 

Can you think of at least one example of web or mobile design without copy elements? It’s difficult, right? Still, just a presence of copy in the interface is not enough for effective UI and positive UX. Copy and its appearance should be well-thought otherwise it may spoil the design. There are designers who ignore typography studies because they think it’s too difficult to understand so it isn’t worth spending much time. However, typography is an essential part of the effective design. Let’s see why.

 

People got used to receiving the majority of information in text form and designers need to make this process easy and productive. The basic knowledge of typography can help to comprehend the peculiarities of font visual presentation and its influence on users perception.

 

The effective copy is a key to the powerful design. Its effectiveness depends not only on its content but also on how it is presented. Font size, width, color, and text structure — all of that matter. Designers can transfer certain mood or message by choosing appropriate fonts and the ways of their presentation. This way typography helps design to communicate with people. Visual performance and readability of copy in digital products have the great impact on user experience. If fonts are badly legible, people can face problems with navigation or even worse can’t use it at all. Today poor user experience in digital products is unforgiven since users can easily find the better alternative.

 

In addition, bad typography significantly affects the first impression because even when users don’t read copy, they scan it. In case fonts look inappropriate people may not want to learn about your offer or use your product.

 

home page design strategy

 

Essential typography elements

 

To create profound typography, you need to learn its anatomy and the processes typography building requires. Let’s see.

 

Font and Typeface

 

Nowadays, many designers use terms “font” and “typeface” as the synonyms but that’s not quite right. Let’s straighten it out. A typeface is a style of type design which includes a complete scope of characters in all sizes and weight. On the other hand, a font is a graphical representation of text character usually introduced in one particular typeface, size, and weight. In other words, a typeface is something like a family and fonts are parts of it. These two are the main objects which designers and typographers change and transform to create readable and aesthetic typography. More about typeface styles will be presented here soon for our readers.

 

Mean line and baseline

 

Typically, type characters are placed in a straight line creating a neat visual presentation. Main tools assisting designers in the process are mean line and baseline. The first marks the top and the other bottom of a character body. Such lines allow creating fonts even. Of course, the lines are invisible in interfaces after designers finish their work.

 

tubik typography baseline

 

Character measurement (size, weight, and height)

 

To separate different types of information and highlight the vital points, designers apply fonts in different weight and size. The type weight is a measurement of how thick type character is. The sizes are usually measured in inches, millimeters, or pixels. The height of the character is also called “x-height” because the body of every character in one size is based on the letter “x”. This approach makes them look even. It’s easy to segregate copy elements such as heading, sub-heading and body copy by varying these parameters.

 

tubik typography x_height

 

Ascender and Descender

 

The ascender is a part of a letter that goes above the mean line like in a letter “b” or “d”. The descender is opposite to ascender. It’s a segment that extends below the baseline like in “q” or “g”.

 

tubik typography ascender

 

White space

 

White space, also known as negative space, is the area between elements in a design composition. Readers aren’t usually aware of the great role of the space, but designers pay a lot of attention to it. In case the white space is not balanced, copy will be hard to read. That’s why negative space matters as much as any other typography element.

 

tubik_typography_whitespace

 

Alignment

 

Creating effective typography is not that easy and it includes many processes. For example, alignment is an action of placing and justifying text. During the stage, designers aim at transforming randomly placed pieces of text into one unified composition.

 

tubik_typography_alignment

 

Tracking

 

The process of tracking involves adjustment of space for a group of type characters which form a word and text block. A designer set appropriate spacing for all letters, making copy feel airy and pleasant to the eye. The effective tracking makes letters in a word easily readable.

 

tubik_typography_tracking

 

Kerning

 

Kerning is a bit similar to tracking still they aren’t the same. Tracking means is spacing between all the characters of font while kerning is the process of adjusting the space between two type characters. It is usually applied for individual cases when a designer decides to change the spacing between two specific letters to make it feel more natural.

 

tubik_typography_kerning

 

Leading

 

Leading is the spacing between the baselines of copy. The appropriate leading helps readers easily go from one text line to another and makes big pieces of text legible. In design, the standard leading is 120% the point size of the font still it can vary according to the typeface peculiarities.

 

tubik_typography_leading

 

Typographic hierarchy

 

As any other design element, typography should be structured. Typographic hierarchy is a system that organizes copy content in the best way for users’ perception first of all via modifications and the combination of typefaces and fonts. It is aimed at creating the contrast between the most meaningful and prominent copy elements which should be noticed first and ordinary text information. The contrast is created by regulating typography elements including typefaces, fonts, sizes, and colors as well as their alignment.

 

web design UI tubik studio

The Gourmet Website

 

Typographic hierarchy is presented with common types of copy content used in UI design. They are headlines, subheaders, body copy, call-to-action elements, captions, and others. These copy elements create distinct layers in design: primary, secondary, and tertiary.

 

The primary level of copy content includes the biggest type like in headlines. It strives at drawing user’s attention to the product. The secondary level consists of copy elements which can be easily scanned. Those are subheaders and captions which allow users quickly navigate through the content. And the tertiary level of typography includes body text and the other information. It is often presented with the small type still it should be readable enough.The typography layers assist users to learn copy content gradually step by step without effort and get oriented in the digital product.

 

web design UI concept tubik studio

The Big Landscape

 

Typography cannot be learned in one day. It requires constant studying and persistence. Follow Tubik blog updates and learn more about typography in design.

 

Recommended reading

 

Robert Bringhurst “The Elements of Typographic Style Paperback”

 

Erik Spiekermann “FontBook”

 

Simon Garfield “Just My Type: A Book About Fonts”

 

Tips on Applying Copy Content in User Interfaces

 

Every Design Needs Three Levels of Typographic Hierarchy


Welcome to see the designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance

web design tubik studio

Tips on Applying Copy Content in User Interfaces

Words are a powerful weapon. They can bring both success and failure depending on how you put them together. They can motivate or confuse, strengthen or weaken, call or push away. That’s why designing a digital product, it’s vital to remember that high-quality copy is as essential as the details of visual performance.

 

In one of our previous articles, we’ve already considered the big role of textual content in UI design, covering the definition of copy and its functions in graphic user interfaces. The important point to remember from it here is the words cannot be fully replaced with the graphics whatever amazing, high-quality and professional they are going to be. Efficient and engaging copy content in user interfaces is defined by two equally significant basic criteria: the quality of writing and the appropriate look. Words and visual elements should mutually support each other, exist in harmony and provide organic consistency. So, every single piece of copy should be thoughtfully analyzed and created in a way corresponding to the general design concept and enhancing positive user experience via successful interaction. 

 

Could you imagine an interface containing badly-written copy with the same type sizes, fonts, and colors? The chances are big that it would cost users great effort to solve their problems or get needed information with the product, so they would simply choose other product that is more user-friendly and less time-consuming. Let’s check what types of copy content designers and copywriters deal with creating websites or mobile applications, and think over the points needing special attention.

 

copywriting tips

 

Visual hierarchy

 

To organize content in interfaces clearly for users, designers apply a well-known technique called visual hierarchy. It is initially based on Gestalt psychological theory and its main goal is to present the content on the carrier, be it a book page or poster, web page or mobile screen, in such a way that users can understand the level of importance for each element. It activates the ability of the brain to distinguish objects on the basis of their physical differences, such as size, color, contrast, alignment etc. In the aspect of creating copy content for web pages and mobile app screens, there are two aspects important to consider: page scanning patterns and typographic hierarchy. 

 

Understanding the importance of visual performance and readability of copy in digital products and its impact on user experience, numerous usability experts explore this issue comprehensively and collect statistics providing valuable data for designers. Lots of studies have shown that before reading a web page people scan it to get a sense of whether they are interested. According to different studies, including the publications by Nielsen Norman Group as one of the pioneers of this field, UXPin team and others, there are several popular scanning patterns for web pages, among which “F” and “Z” patterns.

 

F-pattern is referred to as the most common eye-scanning pattern, especially for web pages with big amount of content. A user first scans a horizontal line on the top of the screen, then moves down the page a bit and reads across the horizontal line which usually covers a shorter area. And the last one is a vertical line down on the left side of the copy where they look for keywords in the paragraphs’ initial sentences. It usually occurs on text-heavy pages like blogs, news platforms, thematic editorials etc. How could designers employ this knowledge? First of all, placing the information of key importance or core interest on the most scanned spots and trying to use short catching headlines and bold headers to draw users’ attention.

 

Z-pattern is applied to pages which are not so heavily concentrated on copy. A user first scans across the top of the page starting from the top left corner, looking for important information, and then goes down to the opposite corner at a diagonal, finishing with the horizontal line at the bottom of the page, again from left to right. This is a typical model of scanning for landing pages or websites not loaded with copy and not requiring scrolling down the page, which means that all the core data is visible in the pre-scroll area. In this case, designers place core information in the spots of highest attention, such as top corners, and put the other points requiring attention along the top and bottom lines.

 

website design tubik studio

The Big Landscape

 

Here we can see the design concept for a website which presents the online magazine «The Big Landscape». The interface is minimalist following the principles of clear visual hierarchy, good readability, intuitive navigation and aesthetic pleasure from visual perception. The designer followed Z-scanning-pattern placing vital elements such as the logo and CTA button in the corners of the top line while the bottom line informs users about the website creators and provides the ability to contact via social networks instantly.

 

Typographic hierarchy

 

Typographic hierarchy is a system that organizes copy content in the best way for users’ perception first of all via modifications and the combination of types and fonts. It is aimed at creating the contrast between the most meaningful and prominent copy elements which should be noticed first and ordinary text information. The contrast is created by regulating type fonts, sizes, and colors as well as their placement and alignment. Typographic hierarchy is presented with common types of copy content used in UI design.

 

Headlines

 

A headline is the first thing that users should see in any interface. It is a large, bold word or phrase which transfers and emphasizes the core informative message on the page. It’s essential for headlines to be catchy and short so that they could draw users’ attention, and meaningful in order to inform users about the theme and benefits of the content of the page or screen. According to the research published by one of the popular social media sharing platforms Buffer, the ideal length of the headline is 6 words; Jacob Nielsen provides the study at which shows that headlines of 5-6 work effectively, not less than extensive headlines presenting a full sentence. 

 

Another point to remember: it’s good when headline is visually supported by other elements on the page or screen, still it also should be understandable and meaningful without such context.

 

website design for photographers

Photography Workshops 

 

Here is the landing page for a company organizing photo tours and workshops for photographers. Functional and stylish minimalism is the basic approach behind the web interface. The bold headline is placed on the left which makes it noticeable but the major accent still remains on the head picture.

 

landing page UI design tubik studio

Website on cooking seafood

 

tubik_studio_website_ui_bakery

Vinny’s Bakery

 

These are two examples of the websites concentrated on providing content around the same theme — food. They both have minimalist design with centrally located headlines. However, the headlines differ with the message they send to the users as well as nature of the websites differs in its core: one of them stimulates uniting users around the action (cooking seafood) while the other is focused in presenting the goods (bread and bakery). The first example presents a website collecting recipes of meals with seafood from all over the world, so its headline contains a CTA with a key element — action verb in imperative form “Let’s cook!”, which dynamically tunes users into the activity. On the other hand, we can see another concept — a website for a small bakery selling homemade bread. The lyrical headline makes users feel warm, sets strong positive emotional connection and lets them instantly imagine the smell of bakery products which are sold via the website.

 

Subheaders

 

It’s impossible to put all the significant information in a headline, that’s why you need subheaders. These are brief, concise and catchy phrases that are similar to headlines, although they typically mark out the key points in separate sections while headlines summarize the theme or message of the whole page. Following the principles of visual hierarchy, fonts chosen for subheaders are usually smaller than for headlines but bigger than the rest of the copy. Traditionally, they are also bold and short. 

 

Landing Page Animation Tubik Studio

Organic — landing page

 

tubikstudio travel gear landing

Travel Gear Landing Page

 

Subheaders play a big role in landing page design. These two concepts for landing pages above are good examples of how subheaders inform users about the data provided in different sections. Bold subheaders point out the main idea of body copy helping users find the information they need easily and quickly.

 

Body copy

 

Body copy is usually a part of text presenting the description or some essential information placed in a compact block, usually under a subheader or a headline. Fonts are thinner and smaller than in headlines and subheaders, sometimes they are presented in italic for even more prominent visual contrast.

 

There is no unified opinion about the best length of body copy. Some content creators support the approach that long copy is more informative and serious-looking, while the others claim that only short copy is effective because Internet users never want to read too much. Here in Tubik we support the approach that the length of the effective and user-friendly copy depends directly on target audience: users, as well as products, are incredibly different, they have diverse preferences, goals and wishes when search for web resources or mobile apps. Both long and short copy have their own pros and cons, and each of them can be appropriate than depending on target audience of the product and its conversion goals.

 

Short copy is often effective for mobile interfaces and landing pages: their users are usually keen to see concise and highly informative copy content. Moreover, mobile interfaces have limited amount of space, so too much copy won’t look nice and will demand additional effort for reading, which can be the reason for poor user experience. Long copy is good for web resources that provide users with complex information on specific topics as well as presentation of the products which aren’t well-known for users and need additional informative support.

 

website design UI

Architecture Firm

 

Here is the example of a web page where long copy is useful. It’s a design concept featuring a website for architectural bureau following minimalistic and functional approach in creative practice and demonstrating it via website visual performance. The aim of such websites is to tell the company’s story, present professional level and achievements, so detailed copy works efficiently in this case.

 

tubik studio web ui design

Birds of Paradise Encyclopedia

 

This design concept also presents a website deeply based on the copy: it’s an educational project setting the online encyclopedia about the specific family of birds. Although it contains a great amount of information presented in text, this type of content is logically divided into many brief and concentrated copy blocks supported with prominent headlines as well as bright and catchy illustrations. This approach makes interaction with the website more dynamic which is especially effective for a teenage part of target readers that presumably often perceive encyclopedias as boring stuff.

 

tubik toonie help screens interaction

Toonie Alarm tutorial

 

As we mentioned above, short copy is useful for mobile interfaces since they are limited in space. The interface of brief tutorial for Toonie Alarm app demonstrates how copy is divided into short blocks in order to leave enough «air» on the screen and make copy readable.

 

Call-to-action elements with copy

 

The core elements that make UI interactive are those which contain a call-to-action (CTA). Some call-to-action elements may be represented with icons that don’t require copy using widely and instantly recognized icons such as a telephone receiver for a phone call or the envelope for mail. However, in cases when the image of an icon is not so obvious or can be misleading, it is more effective to use double scheme, when the icon, button, or link is supported with the copy.

 

The copy for call-to-action elements consists of one or two words or a linked phrase in a body copy. Verbs in the imperative form are one of the frequently applied mechanisms of engaging users.  Designers are recommended to use various techniques of creating contrast, first of all via color, in CTA elements, so that they could stand out in the layout and draw user’s attention quickly.

 

tubikstudio swiftybeaver landing

Landing page for SwiftyBeaver

 

travel agency website UI

Travel Agency Website

 

The CTA buttons on these two landing pages are both centrally located, although they employ different types of copy. The first one consists of the four-word-phrase, while the other applies only one word. However, both look good and work effectively since they both contain the verb in the imperative form and inform target audience about appropriate action solving their potential task on this website.

 

good_sign_app_tubikstudio

Good Sign App Concept 

 

This is a concept for an unusual Good Sign app that gives you a new sign to look for, and you make your wish every time you see it in real life. Such an extraordinary app has also unusual CTA buttons like “Make a wish”.

 

book swap app tubik studio

Book Swap App

 

There’s no need to create CTA buttons exceptionally in bright colors — their main task is to be easily noticeable in the general layout. If the interface is bright and colorful, why don’t you make the contrast with light background which will make bright copy even more prominent, like in a concept for the Book Swap app above?

 

Captions

 

Caption is the short text under a picture describing its content. In web interfaces fonts are usually small and often italic, and in mobile interfaces, the sizes of fonts depend on a size of a picture.

 

gym landing page fragment

Gym Landing Page

 

Here is a concept for the landing page of a gym. The captions here have bold fonts that make them easy to read. They are shown only when the picture is hovered which makes interaction more engaging for the users.

 

Points to consider

 

All in all, creating a quality copy content isn’t that hard if you keep in mind the typographic hierarchy principles. And here are some basic tips on presenting the copy:

 

  • Create catchy headlines. They draw users’ attention and often become the point of decision whether user continues interaction with the page or bounces it.
  • Make headlines short, but keep them highly informative. 
  • Subheaders relate to separate section, so they guide users through the content in the interface.
  • Use brief concise copy for mobile interfaces and landing pages.
  • Consider using long copy for web resources aimed at providing informative content.
  • Use verbs in the imperative form to encourage people to actions.
  • Use contrast colors for call-to-action elements, so that they could draw user’s attention more effectively. However, don’t forget to test readability of the text on the CTA elements: it has a crucial impact on usability and conversion rates.
  • A caption should preferably describe or add the data that isn’t obvious from the image.
  • Give strong preference to present tenses in captions.
  • Always ground your solutions on preliminary user research and don’t neglect testing different options.

 

Recommended reading

 

Here is the collection of recommended articles for further reading in case you would like to read more on the theme.

 

The 5 pillars of visual hierarchy in Web design

6 principles of visual hierarchy for designers

On Visual Hierarchy

F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content

3 Design Layouts: Gutenberg Diagram, Z-Pattern, And F-Pattern

Effective Writing For Your UI: Things to Avoid

The Ideal Length of Everything Online, Backed by Research

Copywriting in UI. Words that Make Design Go Round.

 

Our next publication will continue the comprehensive theme of visual hierarchy and its effective practices in web and mobile interfaces. Don’t miss!


 

Welcome to see the designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance