Web design involves far more than simply coding web pages –
The main difference between reading an article online from reading it in print is, of course, the medium on which it is displayed.
It therefore follows that to present web content in a similarly effective or, better yet, superior format than what is found in paper would require some background learning on the ways and means to do so.
There are many aspects to making text content online attractive to readers.
Doing proper text formatting and design sometimes take a back seat in the web designer’s order of battle, but it is undoubtedly essential to the webpage’s appearance as a whole.
The Importance Of Paragraphs In Web Design
While a lot of readers use some sort of guide, such as their finger or index cards, to train their eyes on the flow of the text in printed media, the same cannot be done with a computer screen without looking awkward and smudging it.
To make the on-screen text readable, appropriate breaks in the outline of the article are necessary.
Not only does this display the words in a pleasant manner, it also minimizes the chances that the reader will develop eyestrain whilst trying to plow through the text.
Another reason breaks should be used in the text is to provide a pause whenever the flow of thought in the content changes.
This tells the reader that a change has happened in the writing.
This keeps the content interesting to read and delineates the focal points in it for the reader to absorb.
A good rule of thumb when placing paragraph breaks is to group together in a paragraph the sentences that have a similar line of thought.
As soon as change occurs in the line of thought, a new paragraph should be made.
This new paragraph is heralded by a break, with the attending pause serving to prepare the mind of the reader to receive the new idea to be presented in the succeeding paragraph.
To make the text body more pleasing to read on-screen, it is usually necessary to make a paragraph break once every three to five sentences of average length (yeah, I know, I never follow that rule myself).
In print, longer paragraphs are passable but, because online readers do not have the luxury of reading guides like the ones mentioned above, it would be better to make paragraphs short when it comes to making a web copy of the same article.
Placing a break between paragraphs also serves to highlight a particular section in the text body that needs to be emphasized for added impact.
To make such a section in the document stand out prominently, it would need to be isolated from the rest of the document.
The entire section should therefore form its own distinct paragraph.
In dialogue text, paragraph breaks should be used whenever there is a switch among the speaking characters in the story.
Because of this, a one-liner often forms one paragraph by itself.
This helps the reader keep track of who is the active speaker at any given point in the dialogue.
Quoted passages are usually included in the same paragraph as other text.
Longer quotes composed of two lines or more must have its own paragraph for emphasis.
Use Bulleting for Lists
Whenever possible, use bullet points in writing lists.
This makes reading the list’s content easier for readers, who often make a quick scan to identify the list’s finer points.
Use of Heading and Bold Text
To make important words or phrases stand out among the neighboring text, consider the use of bold letters to highlight these.
By doing this, a reader can gloss over the entire document and easily find the item so highlighted.
Using an all-caps lettering in a word or phrase also serve this purpose.
Writing a copy for online publication is easy with these basic guidelines.
Proper paragraph structuring will make the content a joy to read and informative as well.