A Reading Experience

Image of the Serra de Tramuntana in Pollença, Mallorca, Spain
Serra de Tramuntana, Pollença, Mallorca, Spain. Photo by Tobias Horvath. Taken with an iPhone SE.

My biggest problem with this website was that once I had the site launched in 2015, I already knew what I wanted to do differently. So instead of focusing on hammering out seemingly sensical1 content, I fiddled with the design in every spare minute.

Foremost, this is not about visual appeal but readability and accessibility. A website can look appealing at first sight, and it probably should. You need to think beyond that. If reading an article for 15 minutes is a chore because of bad typography, wrong font size choices, wrong colour choices or distractions, you lost. Best case scenario, people will use the distraction-free reading mode in their browser, killing your website down to the very basic form. Worst case scenario, they just leave because they are annoyed.

And your site should work well in distraction-free reading mode, too. For some people, this is the only way to read content on the web. And once you made sure this is the case, you’re off to a good start on being accessible to screen readers for the visually impaired.

If you want to get started on improving accessibility on your site, head over to the W3C with Tips for Getting Started with Web Accessibility.

Every minute spent on improving your user experience is worth it.

  1. I am not exactly sure sensical is a word, but it brings me joy. ↩︎