7 design sins that undermine your content

Beautifully written, incredibly interesting copy isn’t any good if people can’t see the words.

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My client was in the target market for the management consultancy—but the website in question raised her ire, not her interest.

No wonder. The designers of that website had committed three of the deadliest design sins. It was almost unreadable.

If you want people to read what you have written, avoid these seven design flaws.

1. Small fonts

Readers have to squint to decode small fonts. If it takes too much time or effort, they simply won’t bother.

Eyesight deterioration is an almost inevitable part of aging:

• At age 40, the retina receives only 50 percent of the light that it got at age 20;
• At age 60, it’s just 20 percent.

If you use tiny fonts, you may find that your audience cannot read your website or brochure at all.

Writing tactic: Choose font sizes that work for your readers. The best size will depend on the font that you’ve chosen and the medium you are using (e.g. website, brochure, magazine ad, etc.). Your designer should be able to advise you.

2. Block capitals (all caps)

When you read, you recognize words by their shape and context.

So when a text is in block capitals, the shapes of the words are too similar—and this makes them difficult to distinguish and read.

Take a look at:

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