I was advised to post this question from User Experience (UX) to this site instead.
Assuming I always have enough space to write what I need to write, and I never get into a position like https://ux.stackexchange.com/questions/3330/what-is-the-best-font-for-extremely-limited-space-i-e-will-fit-the-most-readab, when should I use a condensed font? Is it ever appropriate, or does it just make the UI feel cramped?
The reason I am asking this is because I have six items on the screen at once:
Would this be an appropriate time for a condensed font? I can fit all the wanted text with a wider font, but there is less space between sections with this wider font. However, the condensed font of course makes the text look more cramped.
Is this a case where a condensed font would be appropriate? If not, when would be an appropriate time to use it?
The answer to most any “when should I use typestyle X” is: when it looks appropriate.
That said, note that condensed faces are typically considered display faces. They’re not necessarily meant for use as a text face, but rather for things like headers and headlines. Newspapers especially like them because you can fit a lot more into a headline with a condensed face–leaving space elsewhere for more ads.
Therefore, as a general rule of thumb, use condensed faces in large sizes as you see fit. Beware of potentially reducing legibility when used at small sizes–especially in lower resolution settings, like a desktop screen.