Twitch's default font does not use serifs. Serifs are important for distinguishing I's from l's. For instance, if you can easiIy teIl which of the lowercase L's are or are not repIaced with uppercase i's in this sentence, you're almost definitely using a screen reader. Yes, there is a difference between them, but you wouldn't be able to tell me which is which.
This is a big issue in any online form of communication, for the following reasons:
1: Security. People can post a link that has an L replaced with an i, or sometimes vice versa, without it being noticed. Like if you posted "googIe.com" (that's an uppercase i not an L). Maybe google actually owns that, I don't know, but that's not the point. People can and do make misleading links that seem like well-known trusted domains. Adding serifs to a font is a huge aid in combatting this.
2: Legibility. It's very important that people be able to read each other's names exactly. When banning users in chat, a lot of mods rely on correctly reading letters -- if my name were "lmTheBest" it would look like my name starts with an uppercase i, but it doesn't. People can also impersonate users who have lowercase L's or uppercase i's in their name.
On a less-important note, the reason that drove me over the edge to post this is that I recently changed my username, and people have been reading it with the wrong letter. I shouldn't have to decide between indicating the start of a new word and indicating the correct letter. I say it's less important only because I know I'm in a minority of people whose names would be read incorrectly because of the lack of serifs in the font, but the rest of this is a serious problem that can affect any user, unless they get a twitch extension to change their font, like I have. Of course, for my own issue, this isn't even a solution, because my problem is other people's font, not my own.
But in any case, sans-serif fonts are only good for art and advertisement. Twitch chat is neither, at least most of the time; and regardless, the primary use case is as a method of communication. So please improve communication. Add serifs to the default/only font.
I just want to respond to the idea of fonts that just have serifs on I/l.
I don't want any confusion here- I was not suggesting any specific font as a solution. I wasn't trying to say we must have all serifs. I just wanted to post this somewhat concisely, and be clear about what the problem is. I felt it might distract from the issue to put in more information to the original post.
Personally I use Verdana on twitch (using an extension). It's still sans-serif, except for on I and l. But extensions are not a solution. I hate it when I have to install an extension for a feature that should be built in, and usually go without.
These are very good points; it may seem silly to distinguish between the two, but it's even sillier to stick with a font when it does its job so badly that it leads to security dodges.
You wouldn't tolerate this with numbers. Letters often have the benefit of context, but not only is that inconsistent, it's easily exploited.
I never even thought of this being an issue but now that you've pointed it out I have realized that this could lead to a lot of issues. I mean I believe there is a setting where you can't post links but those that are mods or yourself so that can stop that link but all other things are defiantly and issue that can't be solved unless setting are changed.
I agree with @corviditi that adding serifs will create more problems that in solves ESPECIALLY for those with dyslexia. There are plenty of fonts out there that solve the I vs L problem whilst still not using serifs and therefore remaining accessible. As such, I've opened a new issue at: https://twitch.uservoice.com/forums/933812-safety/suggestions/45174628-default-font-is-causing-impersonation-problems
@PositiveIona I hope you don't think I'm trying to invalidate your suggestion. And I made sure to reference your original post here for context to the original problem but proposing a more accessible solution based on @corviditi's suggestions below and also guided by insight from a personal friend who is dyslexic.
First thing I did when creating my account back in 2010 on justin.tv, I made two accounts with both spellings to prevent anyone impersonating me. I never logged into the other account, and I've recently changed my name, but to make sure it wouldn't ever be a future issue, I made sure one of my old accounts took my old name so that future content I make could never be slandered/defamation, or misrepresented from previous names. It's a necessity to protect myself, because I know I can't rely on companies to do their jobs... case in point: https://twitch.uservoice.com/forums/933812-safety/suggestions/19429897-kick-unwanted-users-bots-from-channel-completely Twitch doesn't care... that post I made in 2017, they responded in 2019, and it's only gotten worse over the years... they... don't... care....
if I could alter this suggestion slightly, I'd say change the font but stay sans-serif. serif fonts tend to be less legible for people with dyslexia, but there are *plenty* of good dyslexic-friendly fonts out there that would still solve this problem! adding a small tail to the lowercase L (similar to the lowercase t) is a common, simple, viable solution. heck, they could serif *just* the uppercase i if they were so inclined.
absolutely agreed though, it's wild that any platform still has this legibility issue in 2022
This would be a huge quality of life upgrade in terms of safety. Definitely please look into implementing stuff like this over silly stuff no one asked for.
This should have been addressed ages ago.
its long overdue