It’s hard to disagree that virtual assistants have wrought little good in this world. From Clippy’s benignly stupid questions to BonziBuddy’s spyware and evil homepage resets, it’s a wonder that Siri or Google Now have been able to reclaim any goodwill. But it turns out virtual assistants have a more lasting negative impact than general annoyance: the font Comic Sans.
Comic Sans lore says that Vincent Connare, a designer on a Microsoft consumer software team, saw a working prototype of the assistant Microsoft Bob back in 1994. This featured a cartoon dog named Rover speaking in text bubbles and, incongruously for a cartoon, Rover spoke in Times New Roman.
In what can now only be described as dramatic irony, Connare was shocked and appalled at how ugly Times New Roman looked coming, ostensibly, out of a cartoon’s mouth. He decided that a more comic-like typeface was needed.
via Ars Technica http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/index/~3/vMrqy5Lxpqc/