An Open Letter To Web Designers

21. March 2016 · Time to Read: 2 MinCategory: Accessibility

Over the last year I’ve noticed something quite dreadful. My eyes are failing me. I forced myself to go for a check up and my fears were confirmed. I chose my glasses and accepted the fact that I will be relying on them more and more.

Something else I have noticed pre-glasses was the state of typography on the web. It seemed to me that a large proportion of web designers only care about imagery and consider content a lesser art of design.

You don’t have to go very far to see what I mean. I'm looking at you 'news websites'.

Even blog type websites sometimes fail on the readability scale. It’s great if you’ve started using large type but please don’t forget about contrast.

Here is a likely scenario: I will visit your site ready to consume some of your nice content and then I will be greeted with content that is barely readable. I’ll close your site faster than google abandons their projects and be very bitter about it. I will start to dislike your website and sometimes even your company.

I’m not part of the tl;dr culture. I am one of those rare people that actually reads on the web. I read a lot on the web so please stop forcing me to create my own user style sheets or making me send your content to Instapaper.

Treat me like an adult and instead of showing me well designed pretty pictures, line your type appropriately and for the love of god, do not use grey text on a white background!

Even now with glasses, I struggle massively with contrast. A good sign that the web designer didn’t care is when I start to get a headache.

I’m aware we can’t control external light and such but we can control how text is displayed. There’s no excuse for rubbish contrast.

I want bigger type, more space and better contrast. If you are using light text on dark, increase the leading and tracking, ensure there is more space between the lines. Care about the type.

People use the web differently. I use it to work, read and consume. You’re making my eyes sore and my head hurt. Consider people the next time you design a website. Please.

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