Readability is Key to Good Web Design

posted in: Internet | 0

I look at a lot of web sites, and I am sorry to say, there are a lot of really terrible web sites out there! I’ve spent a lot of time researching the factors that make a web page readable. My goal of course is to make the sites that we develop here at Boreal Technical Marketing as readable as possible.

Here’s what I have learned:

  • Avoid distracting background images. A light gradient or graphic can make a site look distinctive, but keep it subtle.
  • Make sure their is good contrast between the text colour and the background colour. While there are some combinations that are obviously horrible, there is one that is quite popular that needs to be used with great care, dark grey text on a light grey background. It actually looks quite nice, and the grey background makes the screen easy on the eyes. But take care that there is enough contrast between the text and background, or it can be quite hard to read. This is especially true for smaller text.
  • Place your text in columns. Text blocks that span the entire page are hard to read. Newspapers have used this trick for literally hundreds of years!
  • Avoid the use of all UPPER CASE letters except for small blocks of text. There is lots of research indicating that lower case text is much easier to read, especially in large blocks. Also Avoid Capitalizing Every Word! Reserve capitals for proper names and of course the start of sentences.
  • Leave fonts scaleable so that readers who need to, can use accessibility tools to enlarge the font on your pages.

Implement these simple ideas and you can potentially significantly increase the readability of your site.

Call us for a free, no obligation evaluation of the readability of your web site.