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A few words from the apes, monkeys, and various primates that make up the Cheeky Monkey Super Squad.

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A Balancing Act: Designing For the Reader

Brian

Many times web writers and designers get caught up in the typography of their designs that they forget about the reader’s reading experience. Yes, typography is important, but perhaps not as important as some people would think. The key is to keep the reader in mind when designing an article. Three aspects of the digital reading experience are the content, the content and the reader and each one needs attention.

Content

If you’re designing a typography project, you will first need to read and understand the content. As you read, note the typographical elements such as tables, graphs, emphasis, and font. In plain hypertext, be sure you include these HTML elements since you do not want to lose them. In addition, estimate the reader’s reading time. This will help you establish the spacing between paragraphs, attributing to the rhythm of the article.

Context

Because there is no universal software, everyone’s design may look a little different depending on what device they are viewing from. For example, a font might look great on one computer, but look dim and hard to read on another. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can really do to fix this right now, except make the font as simple and clear as possible.

The Reader

Because everyone is different, everyone sees things differently, including web design. For example, a dyslexic person may have trouble making out fonts from the geometric family because of the similarities in shape.  Just be aware that people will view the text differently.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Choosing a typeface will take practice. You should keep the content, context and the reader in mind, but there is certainly no magic answer. After you familiarize yourself with the project, you should be able to use your own digression and choose one that will be appropriate.

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