Finkernet Marketing

Table of Contents

This chapter is part of the free e-book 'Basics of Search Engine Marketing', published in May 2005.

2.2.1 Web Design Rule #1: Easy to Read


Due to variety of computers, monitors, Internet connections and web browsers that visitors use, it is almost impossible to design a web site that looks exactly the same on all computer screens. In fact, some elements of the web site may be unreadable because of the differences in the hardware and software of the visitors. This is something that web designers need to take into consideration when designing a web site.

The colour contrast between the body text and background is one of the elements that are often forgotten by the designers. The standard colour combination of black text on a white background is usually used on websites, but sometimes designers want to use another colour combination. Designers should always make sure that the colour contrast is high enough, so that the text is easily readable. Viewing the site on several different kinds of computers and web browsers is also recommended as some screen and web browsers may render colours differently.

Other important body-text related elements are the size and typeface of the font. Too small font size will have visitors squinting and be very hard to read, while font size that is too large will appear to be shouting at the visitor. The typeface of the font should be easy to read, and preferably a standard font like Arial or Times New Roman.

One mistake that web designers constantly make is to design the site for a large resolution screen, because the screen that the designer uses to design the website is usually a high-resolution screen. According to the statistics on screen resolutions of global Internet users, nearly 29 percent still use a screen resolution of 800x600 pixels as of January 2005 (W3CSchools 2005). Meanwhile, many web sites are designed solely for a 1024x768 or larger screen. This causes a problem for the low-resolution visitors who need to scroll horizontally to be able to read the contents of the web site. It should be noted that not all websites need be designed for a resolution of 800x600, because nearly all users of some target audiences have a higher screen resolution. Examples of websites that target such an audience are technology-related websites in high-technology countries.

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