Most website design is geared to make the site more inviting. Engagement is a combination of multiple factors. Some of these are keeping the format clean and well balanced, and the experience more pleasant. With nearly seven billion people on the planet, every person has a unique and individual way of expressing themselves.
We have all heard this expression countless times; Keep It Simple. Short and sweet sentences usually convey meaning effectively. Creative freedom should not be restrained, but brevity can be better than verbose effusiveness. Secondly, using simpler words ideally gets the message across faster.
Comfortable line lengths enhance readability. Aim for no more than two-thirds of the width of the page, or 10 to 15 words per line. Articles containing headings, subheads, or visual enhancements assist the effort.
- White space, on text-rich pages, can keep areas clean and contained. White space, an important element in the web universe, should be used judiciously.
- Too many short paragraphs with numerous subheads can make the page dense. Some media organizations globally do this relentlessly.
- White or light backgrounds impair contrast. Black text on contrasting palettes makes it easier to read. Visitors can get bored with chunks of text, so try innovation.
- Colors that are soothing help the reader, and the visibility of text is prominent. Avoid loud colors, as well as backgrounds.
- Mixed case is far better to read than uppercase. Use this as it assists the reader. Design is what addresses the post as it needs to stand out.
We Need Education
Sidebar, comments, etc. should be visually distinct. The core motivator for readability is simple; freedom. There can be a clash with creative angst. People with minimal scholastic skills and short attention spans usually log on. Readability usually depends on parameters such as average reading age, global and local coherence. Concepts need to be understood correctly. In a skewed world, people with minimal education tend to be patronizing and condescending. Studies indicate reader’s skills, existing knowledge, interest and motivation are important.
Using this yardstick, one can easily decipher user interest. The history of the world is replete with instances of the First World or vested stakeholders skewing rules for personal convenience. India and China are globally acknowledged academic and diligent nations. Most websites tend to follow rigid Occidental models, without understanding local sensibilities.
Less is usually better; but all of you are free to customize according to requirements. Too many items can be cluttered and distracting. Plain text is slightly better than fancy fonts.
Still, nothing is the gospel truth, as life is relative. Small font sizes are straining. Links need to be usually colored. Dense text tends to intimidate readers. Use bullets and short snippets, bold important points, and highlight ideas in a different color.
Information overload is a factor of modern life, and we know that most of you will not even have read this far in the article. Consistency, density of text, and emphasizing important elements are important as they provide focus to the user. New challenges and increased readability is essential for people with different literacy skills.
But, natural forms of expression cannot be restrained. All of us comprehend things differently. As we learn and grow, our vocabulary increases and there is a natural tendency to form long and complex sentences. Abstract intellectual development is essential as a parameter of reading comprehension. One cannot discount vested interests hampering readability coefficient perceptions.
A research study, the Bell Curve indicates Asians are at the top when it comes to scholastic aptitude. However, superior infrastructure, skewed perceptions globally hamper readability efforts. Subjective analyses of readability are dependent on the grade level of a text. More education leads to a natural tendency for more complex thoughts. Readability coefficients are generally geared towards making ideas understood faster. The definition of suitable material varies. The final consensus is to integrate a more balanced approach into a site.