All lowercase


I understand the use of lowercase names for certain companies and products. Sometimes, it just looks better that way. But extending this practice to the buttons and navigation on a website or application puzzles me. Since we use capital letters for more than just decoration, adopting an “uppercase is bad” mentality threatens to reduce usability without any corresponding benefits.

In much the same way that text presented entirely in uppercase is hard to read, text shown in all lowercase requires extra cognitive effort that slows the user down. We’re accustomed to seeing capital letters at the start of sentences and on the titles for things like buttons and navigation links. Fight this convention, and you add a split-second of extra processing time for each element on the page. In turn, it takes people longer to complete each task. So before you banish capital letters from your website or program, think about whether any dubious aesthetic benefit is worth the penalty on user satisfaction and productivity.

2 Responses to “All lowercase”

  1. Could be — although I bet there are examples dating back decades. I believe it’s only in the past ten years that these lowercase names became so common.

  2. 2 Rob

    It’s all ebays fault!