Websites are a unique media that have inspired a very new form of literacy. Unlike other forms of media like books or magazines, web users do not read content word by word. Instead, they scan your text for applicable content. Users devote an average of 4 seconds to every 100 words of text. Because of this, web page readers are easily intimidated by walls of text and are more dependent on designers to guide them through text block to the information they are seeking. You can help your viewers out by creating easily scannable text.
Bold Text and Bullet Points
Guide the eye to important headings and topics by using bold fonts to highlight your ideas. Bold text is one way to make sure your readers are drawn to the text they are searching for.
Bullet points are another great way to:
• Condense blocks of texts into bit sized chunks
• Make sure none of your information is skipped
• Easily direct your viewer to worthwhile information
• Create a hierarchy of important points
Your website is not the forum to prove you are the next James Joyce. Keep your sentences short and to the point. Use active verbs to punch up your text. Tighten up your paragraphs and don’t let them drift on too long.
One Idea per Paragraph
If you have to create a block of text, make sure your message does not get lost in the shuffle. Highlight one idea for every text block to ensure your reader is honing in or your important information and not skipping over your other content.
Web readers are used to being marketed to on a minute per minute basis and have developed strategies to ignore aggressive marketing. Avoid using marketese and placing text in anything that make look like a banner ad or pop-up window. Animated text is no longer eye-catching, but an annoying and ignorable distraction.