How To Create Readable Web Pages

Users Read Approximately 20% of Content On A Page

Even when users are reading for pleasure, some studies show they only read 50% to 60% of the content on page. It’s a harsh reality, we know, but in a world where content is published in a never-ending stream, people have to be selective about what they stop and take the time to truly read. This is why creating scannable web pages is important. A scannable web page is one that is written and designed to make quickly reviewing the subject of a page possible. When users can determine that they’ve come across a web page that meets their information needs they are much more likely to stay and find the content they need to learn or take action (or both).

Five Ways to Make a Web Page Scannable:

  1. Write concise, direct content that utilizes plain language to describe products, services, and concepts.

  2. Develop straightforward subject headers that help organize the page into digestible blocks.

  3. Dedicate a single paragraph to each fact or idea shared on page.

  4. Utilize design - typography, color, contrast, shapes, photography, etc. - to give the page a definite sense of order, making the most important content the most visible. Visually distinguish calls-to-action.

  5. Be consistent in design practices across pages so that users don’t feel disoriented when moving from one to another. They should know they are on YOUR website no matter where they are.

Organization is Essential

We hold “scannability” as a design tenet. For us, that extends beyond just formatting pages to be highly readable but also building highly navigable websites where like-content is paired with like-content. That means doing things like consolidating service schedules with service descriptions and linking relevant blog posts to product pages. The idea is simple: to make it as easy as possible for users to get to the information they need and learn as much as they can understanding that the odds that they read 100% of the page are low.