Written by Brian Cray on April 14th, 2009
People come to your blog to read. It seems to make sense but a lot of blogs seem to put readability behind other things. Those same blogs I'm sure are suffering from a lack of readers. Put readability first in your design.
Here's how you increase the readability of your blog:
How the type is set in your copy has much to do with how easily people can move from letter–to–letter, word–to–word. Good typography means you have:
- An easy to read font face for the computer screen Research
- Adequate space between lines (I default to 150% in most cases) Research
- Lines that are about 95 characters in length Research
Start into content quickly
While it's no longer necessary to keep everything above–the–fold, initial visibility still plays a critical role in usability. After branding and navigation are addressed, start into your blog entry immediately with your headline. Your readers shouldn't spend any waisted time searching for the content for which they came.
Remember the days of animated gifs everywhere? The classic "e-mail me" opening mailbox? Luckily, we've abandoned those practices for the most part. But anything that doesn't guide the reader's eye down your body copy is a possible distraction. Look at your own blog for elements that distract the reader from reading. For example, how much does your side column pull your readers away from your main body. Probably more than you think.
Have you ever strained your eyes to read a website? Probably not because you left as soon as you arrived. High contrast between the copy and background plays a critical role in the readability of your blog.
Internet users have much to do, like click around on 50 websites/second. Operating under an extremely short attention span, websites are scanned and rarely read. Use headlines, lists, and short paragraphs to break your copy into easily digested chunks.