How To Use Fonts In Website Design To Improve Readability

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Using The Right Font

Readability does not just refer to legibility!

When it comes to the websites, readability goes beyond simply making it easy for the reader to read your content. On the internet, it’s more about getting your content to the right people and making sure they read what you want them to read.

How do you accomplish this task? Of course navigation, toolbars, sidebars, placing of content and various factors are all important, but fonts help to display your writing in different ways and add charm to your content.

1. Use Fonts Wisely

People often form opinions of a website in a few seconds when simply looking at it for the first time.  The fonts that you use throughout your site are a big factor to this, as fonts display all your text on your site. Research has shown that the general reader skims through the majority of text and if your fonts are hard to read, they are going to struggle through it thinking that the content is too difficult to get past. In a special survey, it was noted that people can take up to twice as long (that’s a 100% increase in time!) to read content that is too decorative.

So, it all depends on what impression we want to create. If you want the user to make a purchase on your site and you want them to know of a great deal that you are offering – then the best way to convey this would be through simple fonts. On the other hand, if you are selling something exquisite and exclusive, using creative and styled fonts is a great idea because it makes the user perceive your product as something that’s hard to get or find. The fonts, in this case, can increase the value of your product.

So, it’s important to make a wise choice about the selection of fonts. In the majority of cases, just keep it simple!

2. Keep Fonts Simple

That brings us to the point about ‘font simplicity‘. This only goes to say that the most legible fonts are the ones that work most effectively. Our own handwriting styles are often simple and influenced by the way the mind is trained to read. Hence, although a cursive style is appreciated and accepted, it’s needed to keep the curves simple and less strenuous on the eyes.

3. Keep Font Colours Soothing

Humans, over time, have been accustomed to read in a particular manner. That is; school black boards and white boards, newspapers, novels, etc.  They use a fixed pattern of either; a dark background with white fonts or light background with black fonts. This is because it’s easy for our brains to distinguish between the contrast of dark & light or black & white.  Somewhere down the line, this pattern has to be followed because that’s how our minds work.

Dark background with light text & Light background with dark text

Now, if we extrapolate this and look at website design, this contrast is needed to make reading easier for your site visitors.  A black background with white fonts can work well, but is often overlooked for large quantities of text for a more professional looking light background with dark fonts. Besides, isn’t that the easier way to read?

4. Highlight specifics

The idea behind emphasizing highlights is that it’s a great way to make a point.

Fonts

By making simple points stand out or highlighting words, you are laying importance on them.  You can also make internal links and external links stand out within your text by using a bold colour.

Fonts

The highlights again, don’t have to be colour changes. They can be subtle with italics or with a bold effect.  Coincidentally, using bold and italic text within your writing can improve your on-page SEO!

The point is, to make a Point.

5. Jump out of the margins!

Jumping the margins is something like breaking the rules slightly. And what do we achieve by that? Take a look at this image.

Fonts

Don’t the words which are slightly different from the others, catch your attention?

This is the special use of jumping margins. This can also be done as below. Take a look at the image:

Font

As seen here, the small call-out box popping out of the margin is sure to catch attention and get a few clicks.

Hence, keeping these few points in mind, and making the most of the fonts on your website, you should be able to  improve your website design and win people over!

But what do you think?  Do you pay much attention to the fonts that you use on your website?  Do you prefer a dark background with light text or light background with dark text?  Let us know your opinions by leaving a comment below!
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Thank you to my Guest Post Author: Divya Rawat

Divya is a passionate blogger who writes on website design and e-commerce. She also has experience in backlink building, SEO and SMO planning and implementation.
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About OIT Author

This post was written by a guest author. Please see their details in the post above. If you'd like to write for OnlineIncomeTeacher, then check out our write for us page for details about how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

  • I like the light backgrounds and I like your font style because it is large and very easy to ready quickly. I see too many blog sites with a 10 font or lower and when they don’t add in paragraphs or any bold words, it is difficult to read and generally I might move on.

    These are great tips you share here Divya. I just wish I could find an ‘easy’ plugin so I can change the fonts on my blog posts, especially titles and subtitles…any suggestions?

    • Hi Lynn, Divya did a great job writing this guest post for us.

      I totally agree with you, there are far too many sites online with poor font choices that make it hard to read. Not only is small font problematic, but I often see people using ‘arty’ fonts that may look good, but is very hard to read!

      Lynn, surely you can control which fonts you use on your site. You should be able to change them in your theme settings.

  • Hi Divya,

    Sensational post here, because we pay much more attention to fonts than we realize.

    We sense the most subtle differences on a deeper level – a subconscious level – so it makes sense to pay strict attention to font usage, to increase readability.

    Thanks for sharing Divya!

    Ryan Biddulph

    • Hi Ryan! Divya really outdid herself writing this article.

      It does seem that many people overlook the fonts that they use on their websites/blogs. It’s daft really because visitors will be looking at a sites text much more than any other aspect of a site, no matter how well designed the rest of it is!

  • Great

  • Great post…..any recommendations on the type and size of fonts for a blog? Do you suggest different styles for the titles and content? Thanks!

    • I wouldn’t recommend any particular font or size for a blog, it all depends on your personal preference. I would however choose one that is very easy to read and big enough to scan through easily. As for your titles, I’d just make them bigger so that they stand out from the rest of your text.

      Fancy fonts can be great for logos of things that you want to draw attention to, but your main content should be simple to read.

  • I accede fonts in webdesign should be used wisely whether its font color, margin or highlights should be simply chosen or else it will look crap..

    • I think lots of people totally forget about and overlook what fonts they use in their site. Fonts are such an important aspect of webdesign that people should consider them carefully.

  • Drupal Development Services

    One thing is that You can also ask your visitors to install a particular font before they access your website

    • Hmm, I don’t think you’ll get many people installing particular fonts to view a website properly. That is the responsibility of the web designer. You should use fonts that are both easy/clear to read and which doesn’t require visitors to download anything to view it.

  • Sharynsheldon

    Great advice Divya. So many bloggers just write big blocks of text that probably never gets read because it’s too difficult to skim and find the key points. It’s all about being scannable, and judicious use of fonts can certainly do the trick!

    • You’re right! Many bloggers do over look their blog presentation and just write big blocks of text. This makes it really hard for people to scan through and find the information that they are after.

      Paragraphs, bullet points, headings, sub headings, images, videos and of course clear fonts, all help to make posts easier to read and more appealing to visitors.

  • Call box got my attention!

  • Yes, the font that you choose when designing your website is very important! It has to be both easy to read and visually appealing, otherwise it will only harm your site.

  • Manual Link Building Service

    Great post.It was very interesting. The article was very helpful. Keep up the good work.