Website Design Tips: Use Readable Text

Invisible text is hard to read.

The image above is an example of using invisible text on your website. Some website owners think this is stylish, but it is actually very bad practice. You want people to read the text on your site, so why make it hard to read? Indoors, on a large screen, it is possible to read text like this. But outdoors in bright sunlight on a mobile phone, it is impossible!

The World Wide Web Consortium publishes guidelines on Minimum Website Contrast to enable people to read your content. It considers things like:

  • elderly users with bad vision (quite common)
  • low quality monitors
  • bad lighting and glare
  • reading on tiny screens, especially outdoors

Do not center or justify text

Studies have shown that centered text is hard to read. The eye has to search for a new starting point to read each new line and after a few lines most people give up reading this sort of text.

Justified text works fine for newspapers because the columns are very narrow. Each line typically consists of only a few words. However, on a web page, lines are often quite long and studies show the eye has difficulty jumping from word to word. For best readability, the text should be left aligned.

More information may be found in this study from Harvard University

Also, see our page on Writing Effective Website Text

Scroll to Top