Experiment 2: Readable Font Size and Type for Display Academic Arabic Text on Screen

Experiment 2: Readable Font Size and Type for Display Academic Arabic Text on Screen

Azza A. Abubaker (Benghazi University, Libya & University of Huddersfield, UK) and Joan Lu (University of Huddersfield, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1884-6.ch011
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Abstract

The outcomes for the previous experiment in this research indicated that students' attitudes differ according to the way of presenting the text and text layout. As the aim of the study was to investigate the three main typographic variables [font size, font type and line length] we will start by font size and font type. Much research has highlighted the character size as a factor in visual display, and reported that font size has a significant effect on readability of texts in both versions. Therefore, defining a readable font size for the Arabic language is the main focus of this experiment, taking into account the effect of one dependent variable, four controlled variables and two independent variables: content length and font type. Students were required to make different judgments of letter pairs, thus indicating which letters were distinguishable. Based on the findings of this experiment, subsequent experiments were designed. In addition, the findings of this experiment will be able to address the issues related to reading Arabic text from screen by children in relation to the following: RQ1: In which font size is the Arabic text read most effectively? RQ2: Is there any correlation between age of the reader and font size? RQ3: Which font type is more readable?
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Design Interface

Taking into account the previous findings which show that there is a positive correlation between content’s length and reading rate, the text used in the experiment was divided into four parts, each part representing a separate window. In each test, different lessons were used, although all the lessons were taken from the reading school book for primary stage in Libya and the eight lessons discussed different subjects of general interest. In addition, the four windows have equal length (31 words per lines, 27 lines per text and non-margins). The sentences were printed with black letters on white background. Four font sizes (10, 14, 16, and 18) were tested with two font types as shown in Table 1. Finally, the text in both conditions was presented in a single column.

Table 1.
The structure of the text in each window
Test (1)Test (2)Test (3)Test (4)
Black font
White background
Font size: title: 18
Font size: 10
Font type: Traditional Arabic, Arial, Times new roman, Courier New and simplified Arabic
Display: one Colum, Single space between lines
Word number: 279
Black font
White background
Font size: title: 18
Font size: 14
Font type: Traditional Arabic, Arial, Times new roman, Courier New and simplified Arabic
Display: one Column, Single space between lines
Word number: 191.
Black font
White background
Font size: title: 18
Font size: 16
Font type:
Traditional Arabic, Arial, Times new roman, Courier New and simplified Arabic.
Display: one Column Single space between lines
Word number: 275.
Black font
White background
Font size: title: 18
Font size: 18
Font type:
Traditional Arabic, Arial, Times new roman, Courier New and simplified Arabic
Display: one Column, Single space between lines
Word number: 254.

In addition, Table 2 shows an example of text layout using 10,14 16 and 18 points as font size and five font types. The total number of windows displayed in this experiment was four slides, dealing with a long text. All lessons were checked by the teacher to determine their suitability for the students’ education level and all terms have been studied by students.

Table 2.
Example of text layout using four different points as font size and five different font types

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