Big numbers are nice

My UX rule of thumb #285: When your site has lots of numbers, make some of them really big (as in the font size)… And if it only has a few, also make them big.

The thought behind this is simple. Chances are if you’ve got a page that needs to display a bunch of digits, some are going to be more important than others. Tell users an immediate story with the big numbers to ease them into the overall tale on the screen.

Sporting events are great for generating lots of numbers. Unless you’re bill James, there are probably a few stats that are top of mind. That’s why I enjoy the fact that espn.com displays player stats and game scores with emphasis on the most salient bits.

Too many data driven sites display all of the numbers on the screen in the same font size. But simply poofing (yes poofing) up some key digits lend a focus to the display and allow users to get an immediate insight.

(typed on the iPhone version of wordpress. Hence no links.)

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2 thoughts on “Big numbers are nice

  1. […] Big letters. I enjoy using typography that draws my eye to headers and key bits of info. When used to their potential (e.g., the big words and numbers actually mean something, and aren’t a giant marketing term) they can offer a better visual anchor than an image. The headline here caught my eye as I scrolled down the page and anchored the portlet very effectively. I enjoy the control I appear to have with the options at the top (how many stories, placement/priority of the portlet). Those simple controls were enough to make me futz with the portlet and already begin to engage with the page in a personalized way. […]

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