2.0 The Word

Readability is an important factor to be considered when designing for those with low-vision. Readability is a complement of legibility as discussed in section 1.0. By careful consideration of the display of words on the screen the act of reading can be facilitated. Design factors that improve readability include case of the word, the spacing of words, and the number of words on a line of text.

Words in lowercase typically work better than those in all caps. Small caps are to be avoided. Words should be spaced evenly on a line of text. Uneven spacing of words on a line decreases legibility.

Justified settings do not work well. A slight increase in letter spacing of a word is desirable. By opening the space between the letters slightly the word can become more visible.

The spaces between lines of words comprising a paragraph should be opened up; but not too much.  The eye should easily track from line to line and not get confused.

The number of words in a line of type should be limited to 10-12 words or roughly 55-65 characters.

Creating hierarchies of type sizes is a good way to structure information, which promotes access to the intended message. Keep indents and tabs to a minimum. Indents need to be larger than ½ the size of the type face, 1 times the typeface size is ok (19px Verdana – 19px indent) but preferably larger but not larger than 2 times the typeface size because it interferes with line tracking by the reader.

( Note: Largely absent in this section is the art of effective prose. As a generalized guide for prose, use simple straight forward language. Omit needless words, specialized vocabularies and excessive punctuation. )