Making your content easier to read

Web design

There’s nothing worse than landing on a website and being met with a seemingly endless wall of text.

1. Use an appropriate typographic scale

It’s important to establish hierarchy for your website content. What do I need to know as soon as I land on your page? What is the most important piece of text to read? What does your company do, and why should I choose you?

These questions can be easily answered immediately if you are using a clear typographic scale.

A typographic scale is a proportionate progression of font sizes, and is expressed as a number. Common values include: 1.25, 1.333 and 1.618, among others.

In most cases, we use a minimum of 16px for body text. From here, you multiply this value by your chosen ratio to find you H6, then again for your H5 and so on...

Studies suggest that bounce rate (explanation) can be reduced by up to 92% with a simple website redesign.

2. Let your text breathe

Line height, or leading, is the space between the lines of text within a paragraph. It is usually expressed as a percentage or as an integer. Smaller line height leads to overcrowded paragraphs whilst larger will result in too much spacing, both of which result in an unpleasant reading experience.

We recommend using at least 150% for paragraph line height but some cases may call for greater, up to 170%. These values provide a seamless reading experience and makes it more accessible for users who have issues reading.

3. Constrain paragraph widths

The optimal width for paragraph text is between 50 and 75 characters wide, including spaces. 

Too thin and your visitors will have to continuously cast their eyes to the next line too frequently.

Too wide and your visitors could lose their place in the text when switching to the next line. 

Avoiding the optimal range could lead to:

  • Visual strain
  • Frustration
  • Visitors leaving your site
  • Disjointed thought processing

4. Using imagery to break up your content

Images are great for drawing the attention of your visitors, after all 37% of people are visual learners. 

We recommend including relevant imagery to accompany the text on your website. This helps to provide context whilst also helping your visitors read what is important to their visit and to skim over parts that may not be relevant. 

5. Split text into easily digestible chunks

No one likes a huge block of text, it’s just not interesting. 

Why put an essay on your website if your users aren’t going to read it anyway? Or worse, it could drive them away. 

As with traditional writing, we suggest breaking up your paragraphs into smaller blocks that each represent one idea.

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