An Exploratory Study Evaluating the Influence of Taller Stripe Patterns on Reading Comfort Using Ranking Tests, Reading Tests, EEG’s, and Eye Tracking


  • Maarten Renckens



Reading Comfort, Lower Stripe Patterns, Number Of Details, Optimising Design Parameters


The Latin script has a vertical stripe pattern in it, which is known to cause visual discomfort. This study started from the hypothesis that a lower stripe pattern could result in better visual comfort than a taller stripe pattern. I evaluated this hypothesis with several letterforms and their correlating stripe patterns, tested in four independent tests: a ranking test, reading progression, measuring neurological response, and measuring eye movements. The results provide some indications that taller stripe patterns are less comfortable, but those results were mostly outside the range of common letter sizes for reading texts. Also, results for letterforms and plain stripe patterns differed. The results suggest that multiple design parameters influence reading comfort simultaneously, and that ‘the number of design details per surface’ is a design parameter that could play an important role in determining reading comfort. This needs to be evaluated in further studies.





Journal Article