Blogging: Engaging Readers

Derek Halpern wrote about online content this week.

His hook was:

There is a perfect width for your blog’s content column,

and I’m going to tell you what it is, and why.

Text Layout and Reading

I found Derek’s post from a prompt by Stephen Downes.

I was interested to read of Derek’s use of Mary Dyson’s (2004) paper How physical text layout affects reading from screen. I noted too his link to Susan Weinschenk’s Neuro Web Design.

Whilst following up on Susan’s work I found What People Look At On a Picture Or Screen Depends On What You Say to Them.

Derek’s Advice

  • People prefer short line lengths, but it’s tough to give them it because such a small content width isn’t practical.
  • Make the beginning part of your article a shorter line length than the rest of your article.
  • Use an half-width image below your headline.
  • Begin your article with a short line length, use an eye-grabbing image, and get people to dive into your content.
  • A perfect content width for your blog page is between 480 and 600 pixels.

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