Library and Learning Resources Faculty Research & Creative Works


An Online Font Library: Evaluation by Graphic Design Students


Purpose: This study aims to investigate an online font library, Identifont, which presents a series of questions to interact with users and assists them in finding fonts. This font-locating approach is unique from other current online font libraries.

Design/methodology/approach: The investigators recruited 35 graduate and undergraduate students from several design-related academic programs at the University of Texas at Austin from September 2004 to April 2005. The participants were given six tasks to accomplish with Identifont based on provided character sets.

Findings: The data analysis suggested that a logical process of finding fonts can be identified. This computer-mediated process, if reflected in the order and substance of the questions provided by a font-locating tool, can help users perform their jobs more easily and efficiently. However, participants also stated that the tool was not very useful with a small subset of text characters and it led to several possible typefaces, instead of just one. Based on the findings of the project, fulfilling such a gap between missing characters and the question-answer approach of the font-locating tools is the next step for system improvement of the tools.

Originality/value: Identifont presents an innovative way to locate fonts, and this study aims to test its effectiveness from an end user perspective. The analysis provides a detailed understanding about Identifont and establishes a research ground for a large-scale study on other search functions.


Library and Learning Resources

Keywords and Phrases

Data analysis; Library users

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Document Type

Article - Journal

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