Thursday, November 19, 2020

Legge and Researchers Identify Critical Character Count for Text Reading on Digital Displays

Headshot of Dr. Gordon Legge
Gordon Legge
, PhD, in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota, along with Nilsu Atilgan and Ying-Zi Xiong recently conducted a study on the joint impact of print size and display size on the readability of text. Legge and his team found that lines with too few words resulted in slower reading times. For people with normal vision to read at their maximum reading speed, they needed at least thirteen characters per line, while those with vision impairment needed nine. These findings underscore the importance of customizing the text format on digital displays to optimize reading performance, both for the design of small text displays for people with normal vision and the prescription of appropriate reading aids for people with low vision. The study was recently published on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, and has been featured by Reuters,, and Daily Mail.

Composed by Flora Pollack, communications assistant.