I’m writing this post while attending Cognitive Psychology UX Bootcamp. This is an exercise that we’ve been set to do and I’m working with Tara and Jerome of Ribot. This is the incredibly laymans version after half a day of the two day program so don’t take any of this too seriously. If you disagree with any of this, you can take it up with our Bootcamp trainer, Joe Leech:)
Tips we’ve learned so far:
- Limit the line length to around 95 characters per line, allow plenty of space between lines, make sure the colour contrast is sufficient and be aware of the impact of colour choice and colour blindness
- Aim for a reading age of around 10yrs (using the Flesch-Kincaid readability test), especially if your audience is multitasking
- Write using upper and lower case unless you want people to read REALLY SLOWLLY and find all your typos
- Don’t put lots of flashing stuff in the peripheral view but also don’t rely on something animating to grab attention in my field of focus
- Try to keep hyperlinks on the same line (not broken over two lines), and don’t put too many links off to other pages/sites if you want to keep people focused on your article (hyperlinks create a fixation point and draw attention)
- If you want to look smart on your blog, include a photo of yourself that is closely cropped around your face. If you’d rather look less intelligent (and possibly more sexy), include a photo with more of your body in it (Note to self: get new profile photo).
- Group similar things together, make use of established/known patterns.
- Make sure any buttons are sufficiently large targets (ref: Fitts Law)
- Encourage psychologists to do a lot more research about the effects of design on reading on the screen because there seems to be a lot of things we don’t really know for sure.