Kerr Consulting Articles

Online, Legibility is King - blog post image

Online, Legibility is King

Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Posted 3 months ago

Written by Will Rose

Do You Have a High Standard of Text Legibility?

Remember playing with the fonts in word documents, and finding the outlandish ones that were so absurd you couldn’t possibly read them? Well, it’s possible your website has more in common with those asinine fonts than you might think.

Text standardization exists so that user friendliness is optimized. If somebody sees a wall of text that is difficult to read, they may take this as a sign that the content and services provided by the site are questionable. The following are a few things to be weary of in the presentation of your text, and things you can do to make sure your website’s content doesn’t get disregarded because of its presentation.

  • Use proper size and line-spacing for readability. When publishing text on your site, you want to be sure that it isn’t so small that it’s illegible, but also isn’t so big that it’s impractical. Moreover be sure that your line-spacing is reasonable, with lines of text neither smooshed together, or miles apart on the page. Try using a default font size of 16px.
  • Consider color with a comfortable contrast. There is a time and place for the bold and daring, though that may not always be within the font of your website. You want to utilize color in a moderate fashion, always maintaining a high level of legibility.
  • Use clear, easy to read, fast loading fonts. Remember the outlandish fonts we discussed before, the ones composed of unfamiliar shapes and symbols? It’s a good rule of thumb to avoid those. Stick to clear, easy to ready fonts — this may even mean veering away from some of the more edgy or stylized fonts. These can translate to unexpectedly low readability, as well as demand a good deal of bandwidth to load. Keep it clean, keep it lean.
  • Transpose images with lots of text into on page text. This one is perhaps a little more obscure, but equally important. Images with lots of text may become difficult to read once posted to your page. To retain the value of the text within the image, it’s a good idea to transpose it onto the page, giving you greater control of the sizing and legibility.
  • Use shadows and emphasis. Sometimes you just can't get enough legibility from the font and color choice alone. Maybe the site background colors change too much or the contrast isn't as strong as you were hoping against an image. This is where text shadows and other emphasis can come in. Drop in an HTML shadow to make the text stand out from its background, or increase the font weight (boldness) to get that extra boost in clarity.

Why be well read?

A legible site is a user-friendly site, and a user-friendly site keeps visitors on for longer, instills trust in the user, and can be the difference in whether or not a client chooses you over your competition. Don't skimp on spending the time to have legible typography on your site at the proper scale and line-spacing for ease of reading and consumption. Break up long paragraphs into smaller chunks and add lists and icons where helpful.

If you want us to perform an audit of your website and provide valuable consulting on content strategy, contact Kerr Consulting today!

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