In order to know how to get people to read what you have to say, you need to know what gets in the way of them getting your message.
This is usually a combination of usability issues and readability issues. These are a few of the readability challenges that prevent easy reading of your message.
1. Justified paragraphs; people easily lose their place as they go from one line to the next. Left aligned text works best.
2. Tiny text; anything less than 10pt makes the eyes work too hard, don’t make the reader work to get your message.
3. Long paragraphs look ‘hard’, chop them into shorter chunks of no more than 5-6 lines long and 100 characters wide.
4. Light text on a dark background is very difficult to read. The eyes look at the darker colour and have to refocus. The letters chop the dark background up creating a dazzle effect and the reader’s ‘word processing’ system doesn’t work!
5. Lots of centred copy makes the reader search for the beginning of each line. This can work well for headlines, but not the main copy.
6. Words the reader doesn’t understand. To be safe keep the message jargon free and simple so anyone can understand it.
7. The word ‘we’ repeated many times. Inwardly focused copy is only interesting to the writer. Talk about ‘YOU’ (reader) and they’ll engage much quicker with your message.
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You can also find us at Lesleywriter or call us on +44 (0) 1245 473296
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