Digital content creators often overlook the “skin” of digital content. They focus on the “bones and meat” of the assets and worry about how it will rank in search engines.
Content is the king of digital marketing. But it’s the “retinue” that makes the king. This retinue, or “skin”, is digital typography.
What attention do you give to content formatting? Are you able to go beyond the headings, paragraphs and visuals in your text? Did you know that the math proportions on a website can affect usability and may keep visitors away if they are not balanced?
These are small but critical errors in text formatting that can make your content look bad, regardless of how helpful or deep it may be. Let’s talk about math that can improve the reading experience of your content and help website visitors better understand it, even if it is AI-written.
7 Key Factors that Impact Digital Content Usability
It is wrong alignment
Headings that are difficult to see
Poor color-contrast ratio
The wrong font size
Complex text structure
Large text fields
1 — The Wrong Alignment
It is amazing how many websites don’t care about aligning, or continuing to align their text content center. Some websites try to align words manually, while others use a full justification. These methods are not ideal for creating stellar formatting.
Words come in different lengths and will not display properly on all screen resolutions. It leads to awkward word spacing. Your content will look amateurish and difficult to read. Users “stumble” through those random spaces, which causes text flow problems and frustration.
Aligning your digital content left is the best choice.
It’s common for users to read text left to right. It also fits the F-shaped pattern that online users consider when scanning your webpage and deciding whether or not they want to read it.
It is easier to use frayed right-hand margins than random spacing between words. This doesn’t enable readers to visually see the information that you have shared in your content.
2 — Wrong Spacing
This is a mistake in spacing between subheadings and within digital content. It may seem insignificant and web administrators don’t pay much attention to it when selecting a website theme. Here’s the rule:
Spacing prior to a subheading should not be smaller than the spacing after it.
This format helps users to understand the meaning of each subheading. It makes the entire content asset visually clear.
3 — Headings that are difficult to see
Without good headlines , digital writers are aware that their content is ineffective. They not only help with SEO writing, serve better visibility in search engines and assist users in scanning the content to understand its context.
Here’s a link to the F-shaped design:
Subheadings are the best subheadings because they allow users to take 10 seconds to read through the content. If they are difficult to read and poorly written, they won’t encourage visitors to continue reading. Your subheads should be designed as follows for better usability:
You can use a different font size and color.
For readers to grasp the structure of your content, create informative subheadings
Be concise and clear.
Yet, you should still try to create subheadings that are interesting enough to encourage readers to continue reading.
4 — Complex Text Structure
It’s not easy to create original content today. There is a lot of competition. Everyone tries to make comprehensive assets that meet E.A.T (Google’s factor in authority, authoritativeness and trustworthiness). These assets also serve as ultimate guides for answering all your questions.
But there is a catch.
Creators create long-form assets that have complex structures in order to pursue high-quality 10x content. This structure has many subheads, which can make it difficult for readers to understand all information and hinder usability. Instead, they will get lost in your content.
Online users are more attentive than ever and won’t spend hours reading through your text blocks. They will leave your website faster if they take more steps than necessary, which can impact its dwell time, bounce rate and other behavioral factors.
Title – H2-H2 – H2 – H2
Title -H2 – H3 H3 H3 H3 H3 H3 H3 H3 H3 H3 H2
Title -H2 – H3–H4 – H4–H4 H3–H2 H2 — H2
It is clear and concise, so the first structure works best. The second is fine too: It helps readers understand the flow of each block and its place in it. The last one is more difficult to comprehend, and readers will need to focus and remember where and what they are reading at any given moment.
Follow the rule “The simpler the better” when it comes to digital content usability.
5 — Poor Color-Contrast Ratio
You shouldn’t put yellow or red text on a background that is either green or blue. But, the color-contrast ratio in web design is crucial as it improves readability and helps users to perceive information.
Contrast and color mismatches can frustrate readers and cause them to leave your website. Here are some ways to avoid this:
No matter what brand colors you choose or the color psychology behind your website, pick a light and calming background color. This will make it easier for users to access your digital content.
To adjust the right color-contrast ratio for your web pages, use tools like GitHub. It should not be less than 5:1. Why is it that black text looks best on white backgrounds? The greatest color-contrast ratio is between white and black.
6 — Wrong Font Size
If users have to go through a lot of work in order to read your digital content, they won’t be able to understand it. Your website should not have fonts smaller than 12px. This is a sure way to show disrespect.
These are the general rules:
Minimum font size is 14px. Experts recommend a minimum of 14px font size (editors at dotcom). However, the readability of web content is not dependent on its size. The balance between line height and width matters. (More details in the #7 blunder description).
Do not place more than three font sizes per web page
You can influence the perception of your brand by choosing fonts that reflect it: typography psychology (nickkolenda.com) states that different fonts can evoke specific associations and emotions in readers.
7 — Large Text Fields
Last but not least, many web administrators overlook this detail when formatting pages.
Text blocks: Line height and length.
It is a web typography rule that relies on the golden ratio. All three dimensions (font size and line width) must relate to each other and be pleasing to the eye. It greatly improves the usability of your site and makes it easier to read.
You can find the ideal ratio for your website by adjusting the font size. GRT calculators can help you with this: The larger the font size, the more lines you will need. Robert Bringhurst, author of The Elements of Typographic Style, has another formula:
Your web page’s font size (x-30) should be a golden ratio.
50-75 characters is the optimal line length for text columns. A longer line makes it difficult to concentrate on the content and determine where it ends. A shorter one causes the eye to wander back too often, which can disrupt the reader’s rhythm.
Too long lines can also make readers feel overwhelmed. Visitors may feel stressed if they have too many lines. They will start on the next line before the current one is finished, which can lead to missing important information.
Learn to Blog by Derek Halpern of Social Triggers.
You can still grab readers with the introduction of the text if you don’t manage to make the entire text line concise enough. This is an example of half-width images that can be used below headlines.
Writing too many paragraphs can lead to large text fields. It is a key indicator of user readability, Web writers know. Visitors scan text and find it difficult to understand if it contains too many text blocks.
This is a problem that most websites have trouble with. Keep paragraphs to a maximum of 3-4 sentences, or even 1-2 sentences. This is a good rule to keep in mind if you don’t have the time or resources to calculate the golden ratio for your website pages. The above dimensions are font size, line width and line spacing.
The optimal number of sentences you have in your paragraphs will depend on the font size, line width and line spacing.
While digital content is important for users and its quality, webmasters and designers should not underestimate its importance in terms of usability. No matter how well-written and detailed your texts may be, nobody will read them if they’re visually difficult to understand and disorienting.
Content moderation must be done. It is worth looking at the math behind web text design in order to improve content usability and conversion. This:
Place your text links left
Be sure to space subheadings before and after them.
Avoid complicated text structures.
All subheads should be visible
You should ensure that your text and background colors are not less than 5:1.
Text content should be at least 14px in size
Based on three dimensions, font size, line height and line width, calculate the golden ratio of your web page.
We all know genius is simple. Only those who make fewer errors win.