The Importance of Kerning in UX

3 min readApr 30, 2023

It’s simple to be distracted by the big picture while developing a user experience: layout, colour schemes, functionality, and so on. However, kerning is a minor detail that has a significant impact.

For those who are unaware, kerning is the practise of altering the distance between each letter in a word. Unbelievably, it’s an important component of UX design. Why? To begin with, poor kerning may make even the best-designed interface appear unprofessional. Consider reading a phrase with the letters scrambled, such as “TH EQU ICKB ROW NFO XJU MPEDO VERT HES LAYD OG.” It’s not just challenging to read; it’s also unattractive.

On the other hand, effective kerning may give a design a polished, expert appearance. When letters are spaced precisely, they come together to form a unified, beautiful whole. It resembles a finely tuned symphony where each instrument is performing in unison. Or, if you don’t like classical music, it’s like a delicious pizza with perfectly proportioned toppings.

However, kerning is more than just an aesthetic choice. It also has an impact on readability, a crucial component of UX design. Users may find it more difficult to read and comprehend the text when letters are placed too close together or too far apart. Let’s face it, we have all used interfaces with text that was either too tiny or crowded together. It’s comparable to attempting to read a book in minuscule type or understand a secret code in Wingdings.

How therefore can we make sure that our UX designs have excellent kerning? There are a few things to bear in mind, though. First, it’s crucial to pick a typeface that reads well in a variety of sizes and weights. While some fonts may look fantastic at larger sizes, when you use them in smaller sizes, the kerning can become distorted. Test your design on various gadgets and screen sizes, second. On a tablet or mobile device, what appears fantastic on your laptop might not transfer effectively. Finally, don’t be afraid to play around with your kerning and make necessary adjustments until it looks perfect. Like a skilled hair stylist, getting the ideal appearance occasionally needs a little cutting and altering.

In conclusion, kerning may significantly affect the entire user experience while appearing to be a little and unimportant issue. Therefore, remember to pay attention to your kerning the next time you’re designing an interface. Your users will appreciate it, as well as their eyes!

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