Rules for Readability on Websites

Rules for Readability on Websites


There are rules in every aspect of website design. A lot of it has to do with the user experience and another portion is how it interacts between different devices. But many companies have overlook an important feature of how easily the website is read and reviewed.

Creating a clear message for your visitors is important. We all benefit from clearly read fonts on websites. In the early days when there wasn’t so much design as there was use of colors, people would put red text on a blue background. There is so much to learn about how we now use all types of design when it comes to fonts.

Here are some basic guides on how to avoid impairing your visitors with your message:

  • Do not use too many fonts.
  • Do not use too many different font sizes.
  • Do not use a san-serif font for the body copy; this is too busy.
  • Do not change typeface during body paragraphs.
  • Use proper alignment for the text area that you are working in.
  • Use proper spacing in the text block that you are creating to make it easy to read.
  • Use proper grammar and punctuation through out the whole body of text.

There are a lot of reasons to follow the guides; one of the biggest is that it just makes sense. Take for example the example of too many font sizes. Generally we make things bigger to help them stand out; but now we use them as headings on different paragraphs. So you are creating so many different calls from the text by changing font size every time you want their attention. The general guide is to provide the information clearly, with well organized paragraphs and headings and the reader will find the information on their own.

Lastly, we would like to suggest staying away from bolding, underlining, or italics around words inside the copy. More than anything, calling emphasis now days just creates contrast and causes extra noise. People like to be able to discover the information on their own. If they aren’t going to be able to figure out what is important; that means you have too much text on your website.

Simplify your messages! Make sure that the text doesn’t ramble on. You don’t have to fill pages and pages of text. Try to simplify the message as much as you can, it has little to do with the readability, but it has everything to do with your visitor’s experience.

4 Rules for Readability

Use these following readability tests to make sure that your website is following the key principals. Your web design should be able to work with your users and bring you more business. Here are the tips we suggest as you work to make your website a more readable item:

  1. Use Headers: Headers will be important for breaking apart the text hierarchy. This also helps visitors scan the text for the section that they want to review and read more of.
  2. Scan-able Copy: Do not overwhelm your visitors with too much text. Make it simple, use a hierarchy with your information, and use bullet points to get the reader through the content.
  3. Use White Space: Do not shy away from white space. This actually makes it easier to read through the body of text, white space will relax the eyes. Use this in your information hierarchy as well.
  4. Link Styles Together: If you are providing links on the website, you may want to link styles together; through color or text. People can catalog on their own, provided that you organize your information and link styles together.


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