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Use Mixed Case with Prose Content

Document Type: Standard


Content:

HHS must use mixed upper- and lower-case letters when displaying continuous prose text. This standard will apply to headlines, headers, and links, as well as the body of content.

If a phrase is intended to attract the users attention, display the phrase in bold or italics. Only use these methods to emphasize one or two words, or a short phrase, because they slow reading performance when used for extended prose. They also cease being eye-catching.

Reason:

TEXT PRESENTED IN ALL CAPS IS DIFFICULT TO READ. Reading text is easier when capitalization is used conventionally to start sentences and to indicate proper nouns and acronyms.

Sources:

  • Breland and Breland, 1944; Engel and Granda, 1975; Mills and Weldon, 1987; Moskel, Erno and Shneiderman, 1984; Poulton and Brown, 1968; Smith and Mosier, 1986; Spyridakis, 2000; Tinker and Paterson, 1928; Tinker, 1955; Tinker, 1963; Vartabedian, 1971; Wright, 1977.