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Opening Statement Text Image Tables Hyperlinks Navigation Artistic Concerns Content Conclusion

Text is important to web design. In fact, you can say it's the first thing and the most important thing to consider in delivering information to you audience. From stone tablets to Gutenberg, it's just what we do to communicate our ideas. In a content-based web site, it's a necessity; therefore, we will begin with manipulating the text. You should have already gathered the words you want to communicate.

Since we can't "hear" inflections in voice on most web sites* then we rely heavily on the words used and how they can be emphasized to the best degree.

Emphasizing text can be done in a variety of ways on a web page.

You can bold the text. (click here to see how it is done)
You can italicize the text. (click here to see how it is done)
You can underline the text. (click here to see how it is done)
You can resize the text. (click here to see how it is done)
You can color the text. (click here to see how it is done)
You can change the font of the text. (click here to see how it is done)

You can even align the text across the web page.

This line is aligned left.

This line is aligned center.

This line is aligned right

But do you do them all? Do you use just one? Do you combine a few?

Let's look at a familiar "text": the opening words to Star Trek: Next Generation television series.

"Space...the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations ... to boldly go where no one has gone before. " - Capt. Jean-Luc Picard.

Text can be emphasized to put certain information more firmly in the audiences mind. Look at these examples:

Bold text: "Space...the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations ... to boldly go where no one has gone before."

OR

Italicized text:

"Space...the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations ... to boldly go where no one has gone before. "

Each of these above examples emphasizes different words for the audience. Changing text size or color can also enhance the ability of the reader to skip to the most important "headers" for a page. See an example here.

Changing too many things ultimately makes nothing important. The best rule to follow is the "Rule of Three". When formatting text, try to keep the number of different textual changes to three or less. More than that negates any emphasis for your viewer to understand. To see an example of good and bad uses of textual changes, click here.

Consider that bulleted lists and indenting (referred to blockquote normally in web page design since that is the HTML code but I will use indent since we are talking about content ont eh page not HTML code perfection) are different ways of thinking about delivering information than normally taught when building the traditional research paper. Traditional papers are completely text, and as the reader, you expect to sit and flip many pages. Web pages do not lend themselves to constant text that fills the screen. The less text and reading involved, the better the web page for most people. They prefer images and text mixed. So, consider using bulleted lists to reduce the number of words on the screen. An example of this can be found here.

Web pages are like research papers, but at the same time, they aren't research papers. Your audience wants to know what you have to say, but on a web page, they are less likely to read several pages of text like they would with a research paper. With web pages, think in shorthand. How can you get your point across with less text? Images are great for this, but bulleted lists and indenting text can, too.  People do not like to read lots of text on a web page. Even I feel there's too many words on the Opening Statement page, but I had no choice if I wanted to get started on the right path. Click here for examples of bulleted lists and indenting of text.

Next on the agenda: Images

Opening Statement Text Image Tables Hyperlinks Navigation Artistic Concerns Content Conclusion

Making a Content Web Site

Site Map

Text
Why it is important?

Click to Text - How do you do it?