Readers Digest
Magazine subscription Podcast
HomeLifestyleTechnology
How does web design influence the way we read information online?

How does web design influence the way we read information online?

Your website's design is vital to your business's success. As attention spans continue to shrink, website design has never been more important in your digital marketing strategy.
Website visitors need to be able to digest content easily, but they also need your site to capture (and keep) their attention. So, an eye-catching but easy-to-read website is optimal. But how can this careful balancing act be achieved?
This article will explore why web design is incredibly influential in how we read information online. Plus, we'll suggest ways to make your website more digestible for users. So, let's get straight into it.

Scannability

Many of us quickly scan websites rather than read information word-for-word. As a result, one of the most important elements of a user-friendly website is its scalability. To improve scannability, use short sentences and paragraphs, incorporate lists and subheadings to break up big blocks of text, highlight key points with bold or italicised text and use images and infographics to add visual interest.§

Navigation

A website that is easy to navigate is vital because it affects the user's experience. If users can't find the information they need quickly, they'll look elsewhere. To ensure that users can find the information they require quickly and easily, you should include a website navigation menu that contains links to the other pages on the website, such as:
  • Home
  • About Us
  • Products or Services
  • Pricing
  • Testimonials or Reviews
  • Blog
  • Contact Us
Websites with clear navigation menus appear clean and structured, meaning users are more likely to stay on the website longer. The longer a user remains on the website, and the easier it is for them to navigate between different pages to find what they need, the more likely they are to purchase your products or services.

Mobile-first design

By 2025, nearly three-quarters of the world population will use their smartphones to access the internet. So if your website isn't designed with mobile users in mind, you could be alienating a huge number of potential visitors. Because of this, more business owners are employing experts in mobile-first design to create their websites.
The mobile-first design approach aims to create better browsing experiences for smartphone users by designing websites for mobile devices first. Designing websites with mobile users in mind forces designers to focus on readability, as content must be digestible on smaller screens. To ensure content is easy to read, mobile-first designers will use easy-to-read typography, ditch excessive ads and unnecessary pop-ups and include bold call-to-action buttons.

Tips to make your website easier to read

Now we've explored why your website needs to be designed with readability in mind, it's time to provide you with a couple of tips to make the content of your website easy for users to digest:
1. Include white space
White space will make your website easier to read. Unfortunately, an overcrowded website is a common mistake made by businesses. Including plenty of white space helps to improve user focus and content readability. Plus, white space makes it easier to organise content on the page.
2. Choose the right font
Choosing the right font for your website is an important task: users will struggle to read the content if the font you choose is too complex. Additionally, if you use too many fonts, your pages will look messy and distract from your core message. When it comes to selecting a font, there are a couple of things to keep in mind: the font you choose should be easy to read so users can scan content quickly, and don't use any more than two or three different fonts, as too many will make the pages feel untidy and overcrowded.
3. Use lists
Using lists is a great way to make the content on your website easier to digest. Lists allow users to scan through content quickly to get a feel for whether your brand is well-positioned to help them.
4. Consider contrast
To ensure that users can read the text on your web pages easily, use colours that contrast with each other. For example, if the background of your website is black or grey, use white text, so it stands out as much as possible. If you need help finding colours that work well together, consider using a colour wheel.

Trusted web design by talented designers

In conclusion, web design significantly influences the way we read information online. The structure, layout, and aesthetics of a website have a profound impact on user engagement, readability, and overall user experience. Good web design encourages user interaction, facilitates ease of navigation, and promotes effective information absorption. It plays an integral role in capturing the audience's attention, maintaining their interest, and guiding them through the content.
An intuitive and well-designed website can help highlight key information, simplify complex ideas, and improve comprehension. On the other hand, poor web design can lead to confusion, misinterpretation, and eventually, user drop-offs. Thus, in the evolving digital landscape, web design emerges as an essential aspect of how we perceive and process information online, emphasising the need for designers to ensure that sites are not only visually appealing but also reader-friendly and easily navigable. 
Banner image credit: Image by Coffee Bean from Pixabay
Loading up next...
Stories by email|Subscription
Readers Digest

Launched in 1922, Reader's Digest has built 100 years of trust with a loyal audience and has become the largest circulating magazine in the world

Readers Digest
Reader’s Digest is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards, please contact 0203 289 0940. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit ipso.co.uk