@ joelwalsh - I so agree with you. People, for the most part, surf the web for content. Damn fine content. I canâ€™t remember a time when I didnâ€™t surf the web for damn fine content. But here's the clinker, in my opinion.
The Web is a wholly visual experience and consequently, we are 99.9% of the time, tempted and guided by all things visual. Finding damn fine content is an added bonus, and for the most part it does its job right: Good content draws us, captures us and eventually keeps us so we return for more. A bit like the WordPress forums, really ;)
Font choice is critical, in terms of readability, comprehension and kindest to our retinas. I am a writer by nature, so font choice is critical to me. But in the same breath, Iâ€™m a voracious reader too (I read about 8-11 books a week) as well as proof-read.
When we buy a book from a bookstore we do so for the content, not the font. But paper books and the standard font they support are purposefully designed for ease of readability. We both know we wouldn't sit and read a 400 page book if the font choice deliberately hurt your eyes and made the impact on our senses, particularly our emotions less than powerful.
In fact, you couldn't read your book of choice if your eyes continually watered and you ended up squinting more often than reaching for a Kleenex.
The web is the exact same thing, only visibility times 1000. I donâ€™t normally wear reading glasses, but after an hour on the web I have to otherwise my eyesight begins to blur and a headache looms ever closer between my brows. Itâ€™s the beast of nature I guess.
There seems to be a running debate about content versus visual aspect. People are ready to debate and defend the topic at a drop of a hat, with most falling on the content side as opposed to the visual aesthetical impact.
One thing Iâ€™ve learned is whilst content does draw me, if my viewing and reading experience is hampered in any way, I tend to avoid the site and hunt for another site that makes my reading/viewing pleasure pleasurable. Jacob.N is a prime example - his site and font choice gives me thundering migranes, so I go elsewhere.
But again, that's just my opinion.