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How people read online - Tips for accessible text.

How people read online - Tips for accessible text.

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The reading process is not linear; our eyes jump (saccades) when we read.

After a few fixations, the eye needs a short break. For this reason, it is good to build “resting moments” into your text.

a book is read very differently than a web text. On the web (and on screens in general), we mainly use an exploratory reading pattern.

This means that we scan the piece of text quite a bit before we decide to read it.

he most common are: F-pattern, Layer cake pattern, Spotted pattern, Commitment pattern, Exhaustive review pattern, Bypassing pattern, Zigzag pattern, Sequential pattern, Love-at-first-sight pattern.

When we design for people who have difficulty reading, we can roughly identify two groups: people with visual impairment and people with cognitive impairment.

Good tips for an accessible text nice to read

We can design content that supports scanning by:

  • Use headings and subheadings.
  • Start titles with the most important words.
  • Visually group small pieces of related text. You can do this by including an outline or, for example, a background colour.
  • Important words can be made bold. This can be done with a summary, for example.
  • Always underline your links. And make sure that the links included are meaningful. So not: click here, but instead: check out information about Australia.
  • Make use of bulleted or numbered lists to clarify certain processes or overviews.

In addition to these design-related tips, there are of course many more tips to improve in other areas, such as writing.

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See also: Writing

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