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How much attention do you pay to your content design after choosing a Joomla custom template for your website? Do you consider the principles of online reading and content usability when editing Joomla articles before publishing?
Many users search and read the information on their mobile devices, making it critical for web admins to optimize content accordingly. Plus, people read 25% more slowly online than reading print. Trying to speed up the process, they scan the information and only read 20-28% of the words on a website page.
With that in mind, you don’t want to make it super challenging for users to scan your Joomla content, do you? No matter what exciting and valuable information you share, no one will read it if you ignore content usability principles when designing it.
In this article, you’ll find the top seven critical elements of content usability to consider in Joomla article design. Following them can help you get engaged visitors and happy customers.
This element is super critical when it comes to readability and visual representation of your information. Wrong font type and size can hurt user experience and flush visitors from your website.
When choosing a Joomla template for your future blog or news site, please pay attention to what fonts it represents. Sure thing, you can edit it via CMS afterward, but it will take tons of time and energy.
Avoid templates with too small fonts (12px or less): They are difficult to read on the web, especially if your audience prefers visiting your website via mobile devices. Some web designers insist that 16px is the best font to use (given that you consider a line’s height and length, either), though 14px is also okay for comfortable reading.
Plus, you might want to consider the psychology behind font types and choose the one that would reflect your brand’s personality and tone of voice. Different fonts evoke different emotions and associations, so your brand loyalty may depend on that, too.
Image source: CrazyEgg
And last but not least:
When designing Joomla content, try to use no more than three font sizes on one page. The human brain grasps threes the best; a more significant quantity will hurt design and user perception.
When a person reads online, they follow a definite grid or structure. (The big chances are that you’ve heard about the F-shaped pattern already.) So, the proper alignment is critical for Joomla content design: It’s what makes online texts easier to read and digest.
While some web writers and admins purposely create a somewhat chaotic page design to match a brand’s personality and tone of voice, formatting texts like this is super hard to do:
Given that all words have different lengths, you can’t make all the text blocks look well-structured with the center align. Different screen resolutions make it impossible to wrap texts by hand: Once you adjust all the wraps on your device, they’ll disappear at others, leading to unlikely word spacing and poor readability.
The right-aligned text is also super uncomfortable for users because most of them read from left to right. So, the best option would be to align your Joomla articles to the left: Frayed right-hand margins look much better than random space between words.
By the way, speaking of space:
Spacing helps readers understand how every component of your content relates to each other. So it’s critical to design the space between words, paragraphs, images, and headlines at your Joomla page accordingly.
Ensure that spacings before subheads are wider than after them. This way, you’ll make it straightforward for users to what paragraph this or that subhead belongs. Let’s take a look at this web development page as an example:
Negative space in web design navigates users through content and gives their eyes rest. Just remember that a balance is what matters here most: Too much space makes your content look unfinished or disorganized, while too little space is uncomfortable to read.
You probably know that online users need just 10 seconds of looking at your content to understand if they want to read it. No matter how great and valuable your article is, it fails if you ignore formatting it for better scanning.
Content hierarchy is your design instrument here. Headlines, subheads, text structure, paragraph length, visuals — everything plays its role in content usability and user engagement.
Ensure your H2 and H3 text elements are clear, intriguing, and visually stand out. They give readers the idea of what’s in your content and don’t allow them to get lost. For your subheads to stand out, design them with fonts of different sizes and colors, make them bold, clear, and concise.
Also, try to avoid the super complex structure of your Joomla content. The simpler, the better: Title – H2 – H2 – H2 works best, and the Title – H2 – H3 – H3 – H2 – H2 is acceptable too. At the same time, structures like Title – H2 – H3 – H4 – H4 – H3 – H2 – H2 look messy and will be challenging for readers to perceive.
It’s another critical element of web design to consider for better readability and engagement of your Joomla content: There should be a proper contrast between the background and text on your page. Little contrast or poor color combinations like yellow on green or red on blue frustrate and exhaust readers because they are difficult to read.
Choose light background colors for your Joomla page. The best readability comes from black texts on white backgrounds, but other calming color palettes are also great to try. Just ensure your color-contrast ratio is no less than 5:1.
The way you organize text content throughout a Joomla page influences its usability and readability by far. Short paragraphs, quotes designed with a different font or text color, lists, visually recognizable backlinks, highlights, and visuals — all navigate readers and give them rest points through your content piece.
But how long should paragraphs be in Joomla content?
Most websites agree on 3-4 sentences per paragraph, while some stay for 1-2 sentences. The number of sentences here depends on three dimensions: the font size you use, a line width, and spacing between lines. Depending on that, you can calculate a golden ratio for your Joomla website page to provide visitors with a positive reading experience.
When designing your Joomla content, please never underestimate the power of visuals. Online users have a super-short attention span today, and most people are visual learners; so, you won’t be able to hook and keep their interest with a never-ending sheet of text.
Massive bodies of text are hard to read. Break them up with relevant images, infographics, videos, interactive elements — whatever fits your content and context most. The ideal option would be to design branded images that would fit the overall design of your Joomla website.
Such visuals make your resource look consistent and provide the added value to your audience. Plus, if they are original and sharing some helpful information, they can boost your SEO endeavors a bit: Readers will likely want to share such visuals, backlinking to your resource as the image source.
These are seven critical elements of content design to make sure your Joomla articles are appealing and easy to read. Understanding the principles of online reading and using proper design techniques, you’ll gain more website visitors and retain them.
Do your best to design Joomla content with intent, avoid blunders in the above elements — and your content conversion will skyrocket! If your Joomla template and development isn’t user-friendly, website visitors will leave you and go to competitors for similar information.
But you don’t want them to do so, do you?
Lesley Vos is a professional copywriter and guest contributor, currently blogging at Bid4Papers.com. Specializing in data research, web text writing, and content promotion, she is in love with words, non-fiction literature, and jazz. Visit her Twitter @LesleyVos to say hi and see more works.