Should you use (sometimes) use Comic Sans?

Fabulous piece in the SitePoint Design View newsletter today. Comic Sans is the font that we all hate – right? And yet it won’t die. No school web site or newsletter is fit for purpose without it. It’s used a lot by a lot of people in a lot of places. I trained (years ago) as a designer so I’m qualified to pontificate about this…

…but the article suggests that a piece of research, soon to be published, showed that the use of Comic Sans in a particular type of survey enticed more information from the participants.

NB: Having followed the links, its clear that the research is about more than just Comic Sans. Entitled "Why Do Consumers Disclose Sensitive Information to Shady-Looking Websites?" it looks at a range of graphic devices (cartoon devil logo, text-speak) being employed to set a tone in the article.

But nevertheless, the SitePoint article goes on to suggest we should A/B split test Comic Sans on some of our web pages. If that membership form becomes more effective when rendered with Comic Sans then do design ideals fly out of the window?

Well, maybe – but as the article points out – there’s more than one informal font in the world, so perhaps Comic Sans isn’t always the answer.

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