Crystal Clear: 5 Ways to Improve Website Readability
There are several reasons why users can quickly leave a website: page is not relevant to a user’s request, loading takes too much time, or there’s an error. But sometimes the low readability level of a page is enough, and this is the one reason often overlooked and neglected. Poor content readability means that even the best copy can’t succeed if it’s badly designed from the UX perspective. At the same time, the problem of readability may prove to be the easiest to deal with if you follow the guidelines. However “design-101” they may seem, it’s always useful to refresh your knowledge. “Users won’t read web content unless the text is clear, the words and sentences are simple, and the information is easy to understand.” -Nielsen Norman Group on the subject of legibility and readability Let’s briefly cover the issue of readability vs legibility. Is there a difference? Legibility is about how a typeface looks and whether a particular character can be easily differentiated from another. Whereas readability refers to the layout of text and image blocks. So there is a difference. However, the majority of designers seem to use the term “readability” in its wider sense and apply it to the subject of fonts, page structure, content, colors, etc., so I too will continue along the same lines. Let’s take a quick look at the main principles. 1. Concentrate on typography The right font Which font is the best one is a question open for discussion. There’s no right answer. There is, however, a number of web-safe fonts that are preferable, including: Arial Roboto Times New Roman Courier Verdana Georgia, etc. “Web-safe” means that these are the fonts that are pre-installed across all operating systems, including mobile, which ensures that your website appears exactly as you’ve intended it to be. As for the matter or serif vs sans serif fonts, it had traditionally been considered that serif fonts are for the printed materials, and sans serif ones are for the web, because letters with serifs sometimes got blurry on the screens. But due to the advancing quality of HD screens, it’s no longer an issue. Most fonts created by professional designers for large volumes of text do an excellent job, serif or not. The main point is that it’s better not to overcomplicate things. Use a standard font as the main one. The more intricate ones are better suited for separate elements like headers. We are accustomed to standard fonts — they surround us everywhere. When a different font is suddenly used a lot, it might cause a slight rejection. Font size Some years ago, the most common website font size for texts was 12-14px — these values were considered optimal. Today, the situation is different. There are two main ways to specify font sizes: fixed value — today’s value gravitates towards 18-22px depending on a website and its audience, with 16px seeming to be the minimum (this font size is the default size for many browsers) percentage size indication — in this case, the font size is calculated by the browser depending on the specified system value. It’s important to find a middle ground here. If the text is too large, it will take up too much space. Too small is also not an option since you have to strain your eyes to read it, » Read More
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