From a type design perspective it is interesting to see what redundant parts can be removed from letters while keeping them legible and discernible. Essentially, it is the reverse of what, for example, Fiset et al have shown: Some parts of letters are more important than others to maintain legibility. So when you remove as much as possible while keeping as little as possible you might end up with this font that is - no surprise - hard to read while still being readable.
This novelty factor that makes it hard to read might or might not help retention. One thing that it does, by design, is make it harder to read. This is okay if you look at 2 or 6 or 20 words. If you want to study a corpus of medical diagnoses or memorize a vast amount of technical terms the added cognitive strain of having to read in a hard to read font might just as well be detrimental to your learning effort, you might speculate.
Even if you accept it does help, you must question that the same novelty that makes the font stand out will quickly dissolve. Studies have shown readers are surprisingly tolerating of "odd" features in fonts and at the same time "tune in" to those odd features fairly quickly (for example Beier & Larson have done work on this), so in the end you have to ask not how this works, but how this is different from highlighting in bold, or italic, or any other font (see for example Dyson & Beier). Note the creators of the font tested against words in Arial, but they did not test words among other words. Or in other words: Yes, with no other context, this font is very different from Arial, hurray. But how different is highlighting one word among many with this typeface compared to other highlighting styles? And how much attention does this font attract after you have used it for a year?
And lastly, you might argue that also word (or more importantly, letter-combination) shape can help you recall a given term, and this relies on language context and the established forms of letter groups with conventional typefaces. With this font completely removing this layer of reference, does it not also potentially remove one layer of recognition you could otherwise rely on?
All in all its an interesting experiment, but the boasting tone and unsubstantiated claims by its creators will attract scorn and invite misrepresentation of something otherwise worthwhile exploring in more detail. And once again in a long tradition of type pseudo science snake-oil merchants try to sell a seemingly simple solution that, instead of solving the issue, offers a folksy oversimplification of the problem instead. There is no one font that will make you remember better.
this is such a quality post
I typed some text into the input at the top, and had forgotten what I'd typed by the time I reached the bottom of the page.
Comic Sans seems to have a similar effect for me :)
so I assume this hasn't been tested? I don't see any research results or backed up claims here
"Although the more general prevalence of “desirable difficulties” (Bjork, 1994) is beyond the scope of this article, several research groups have found that disfluent fonts improve performance on memory tasks (Cotton et al, 2014, Diemand-Yauman, Oppenheimer, & Vaughan, 2011; French et al., 2013; Lee, 2013; Sungkhasettee, Friedman, & Castel, 2011; Weltman & Eakin, 2014). Though some have also failed to replicate these effects (Eitel, Kühl, Scheiter, & Gerjets, 2014; Yue, Castel, & Bjork, 2013), the balance of evidence suggests that disfluent fonts may aid memory but not reasoning — presumably because reading words more slowly benefits memory, but not reasoning." (my emphasis)
i understand the concept and the psychological work behind it. just curious about this font in particular.
I tried it yesterday and it partially worked for me… I need to give it one more shot
Nice! What was your method/process for your user test? Is it possible to have an article/video about all the iteration you did on this typography? The website is well documented but I would like to have a deeper understanding, please :)
I'm curious why the website did not use the Sans Forgetica font in key places where they wanted people to retain what they were saying. (I absolutely understand it's a design choice to not use it across the page but it would definitely be good proof that they believe in their own claim).
Love the visual feel of the font... Just would like to know more about the claim since I would love to use it in applications where I do need people to retain information.
I posted this yesterday as well:
I wish either the duplicate detection dingus worked properly again, or we could all glance at the recent page for a sec before posting duplicates.
It sounds like you are pissed because your post did not get traction and this one did. Chill out dude! The important thing is that there is a place to discuss it, not the imaginary points you were expecting to get from this.
LOL no, I'm not pissed at all. :D It just doesn't do anyone a favor if duplicates start getting posted all over the place, in general. It's DN's fault really, as the thing that detects duplicate URLs has been broken for a while. Your apparent overreaction and baseless assumptions of what I'm "expecting to get from this" might mean you need to chill. ;)
Lol. I'm chill too. I was just checking. :D