Letter Casing-ALL CAPS, First letter of word cap or First letter of sentence cap- they all have impact. And are important for UX. Use it to your advantage.
We’re living in the age of experience design. A time when user is at centre of our attention and products, processes etc., are designed with a focus to drive user engagement and boost satisfaction. So much so that building innovative products is just not enough. You need to complement it with excellent experience design to make it a success.
When we’ve a razor sharp focus on creating experiences that drive engagement and deliver user delight, every element of UX is important. And, it is necessary to pay attention to every detail. Letter casing is one such element that is getting serious consideration in design decisions. And many user studies have found that letter casing can impact comprehension, retention, engagement and ultimately conversions.
Let’s do a small exercise. Read the following sentences-
WE’RE LIVING IN THE AGE OF EXPERIENCE DESIGN.
(UPPER CASE or ALL CAPS)
We’re Living In The Age Of Experience Design.
(Title Case- first letter of each word is capitalised)
We’re living in the age of experience design.
Same sentence, different cases and different impact. Isn’t it? The first one is bold and aggressive. A big statement. The second one looks good on design. A little toned down in voice. The third one is classic. The way you and me write and speak.
Why You Should Use Letter Casing?
It’s no secret that both- what you write and how you present it- conveys a message to the user. Letter casing helps you present the content the way you want it to and gives a subtle nudge to the user to read it that way. Letter casing can help a writer or designer in many ways like-
- Attracting attention to a part of copy or page
- Helps in structuring the copy- headings in uppercase, sub headings in title case and the body in lower case.
- Beautifying the copy. If used well, letter casing can help your copy look neat and tidy.
- Improves text readability and knowledge retention. Especially when readers skim rather than read each word of it
How To Use Letter Cases in Your Copy or Design?
THE USE OF UPPERCASE
A school of thought in netiquettes ( etiquettes in the Internet) suggest ALL CAPS is identified with shouting or yelling and should be avoided. Well that may be right in personal correspondence like email or messages, it is perfectly OK to use in web copy. Here are a few tips on getting your ALL CAPS right-
- Use it judiciously. Don’t over do it.
- Use it for shorter sentences of 4–5 words.
- Use it for titles or to attract attention of the user.
- Use it in tabs and microcopy where you want users to take a Yes/No decision.
What not to Capitalize?
Do not capitalize articles, prepositions, or coordinating conjunctions.
- Articles — a, an, the
- Coordinating Conjunctions (fewer than five letters) — and, but, or, for, nor, etc.
- Prepositions (fewer than five letters) — on, at, to, from, by, etc.
The Use of Title Case
Title case has its distinct appeal and a massive fan following. Apple loves it. Looks good on design. And that’s why we see its widespread usage.
Here’s a few tips to use title case optimally-
- Use it to give more visual prominence to your content like punchlines.
- Use it for shorter sentences
- Use it in logos, subheadings, tabs, CTAs etc.
- Use it to differentiate part of copy in place of changing fonts
The use of sentence case
Apple loves title case. Google loves sentence case. Its classic. People use it in their normal lives. No one complains about it.
Frankly there’s not to much to know on the usage of sentence case.
- Use it in the body of your copy.
- Use where you have long sentences.
There’s no rule or guidelines on using the different letter cases. Using the sentence case will do your job. Letter casing will help you present your copy better. Helps designers design it better. And improve the reading experience. Also help you convey the message, the right way. However, it is important to maintain the consistency across the website or app. Whether you are using multiple letter cases or a single letter case, make it a part of your style guide.
They may read and mean same. But there’s a difference. A subtle but important one.
What are your rules on letter casing? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. Also, please follow and clap.
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