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Enhancing PowerBI Reports with Accessible Fonts

Enhancing PowerBI Reports with Accessible Fonts

In today's episode of the Universal Design Quick Tips YouTube series, Greg Trzeciak from Pragmatic Works delves into the crucial topic of fonts in PowerBI reporting. Fonts, often underestimated, play a significant role in improving readability and accessibility for end users. Let's explore the key insights shared by Greg in this informative session.


The Power of Fonts in Accessibility

  • Greg highlights the importance of font types in PowerBI, specifically focusing on two main categories: sans serif and serif fonts.
  • Sans serif fonts are recommended for their reported higher readability, especially for users with accessibility needs.
  • The appearance of sans serif fonts is described as block-like and less decorative, providing a clean and straightforward look.
  • Serif fonts, on the other hand, feature embellishments known as serifs or "little feet," which can be visually appealing but may impact readability.

Visual Comparison of Fonts

  • Greg provides a visual comparison between sans serif and serif fonts, showcasing their distinct characteristics.
  • The audience is encouraged to participate in a font readability test, evaluating different font sizes (18 point for regular, 14 point bold) in both sans serif and serif options.
  • While individual preferences may vary, the general consensus leans towards sans serif fonts for improved readability.

Font Size Guidelines

  • Greg introduces the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, emphasizing the recommended font sizes of 18 point for regular text and 14 point for bold text.
  • These guidelines, although not legally binding, serve as a valuable resource for enhancing accessibility in PowerBI reports.

Recommended Fonts for PowerBI

  • Greg shares a list of recommended fonts, with Verdana standing out as a gold standard for readability.
  • Verdana, a sans serif font, is widely used in accessibility sites and proves to be a reliable choice for creating accessible reports.
  • Greg advises users to stick to highly recommended fonts, as they tend to offer the best readability for the majority of users.

Practical Application in PowerBI Reports

  • Greg demonstrates the impact of font choices on two PowerBI reports.
  • The default report, using a sans serif font, shows some loss of readability, especially when considering external facing data or compliance with accessibility guidelines.
  • Applying the recommended font sizes (18 point or 14 point bold) significantly enhances readability without sacrificing much real estate in the report.

Quick Tip for Improved Reports

  • Greg leaves the audience with a practical tip – consider using 18 point font or 14 point bold in your PowerBI reports to instantly enhance readability.
  • This small adjustment can make a substantial difference, especially for external-facing data or when compliance with accessibility standards like Section 508 is required.

Greg's session on fonts provides valuable insights into the world of PowerBI reporting. By understanding the impact of font choices, users can create reports that are not only visually appealing but also highly accessible to a wide audience. As Greg emphasizes, these tips are just the beginning, and there's much more to explore in the realm of accessibility and PowerBI, particularly in Pragmatic Works' Universal Design course.

So, let's start changing the way we approach report building and embrace a more accessible perspective. Don't forget to check out the Pragmatic Works' on-demand learning platform for more insightful content and training sessions on Power BI and other Microsoft applications. Be sure to subscribe to the Pragmatic Works YouTube channel to stay updated on the latest Microsoft tips and tricks.

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