General Principles Regarding Text Line Lengths and Readability
Having the right amount of characters on each line is key to the readability of your text. Testing reveals that long lines of text are typically perceived by users as intimidating and overwhelming. As result, users faced with overly long lines of text are more likely to avoid reading the text.
The optimal line length
The optimal line length for website readability is typically considered to be between 50 and 75 characters per line, including spaces. This range is based on research that shows that readers are more comfortable and can read faster when the lines of text are not too short or too long.
If the lines of text are too short, the reader’s eyes will need to move back and forth too frequently, which can be tiring and disruptive to the reading experience. On the other hand, if the lines of text are too long, it can be challenging for readers to keep their place and maintain their focus on the text.
How Overly Long Lines of Text Negatively Impact Users?
Overly long lines of text can negatively impact users in several ways, making it more difficult for them to read and comprehend the content. Here are some of the ways in which long lines of text can be problematic:
- Eye Strain: Reading long lines of text can be tiring on the eyes, as the reader has to move their eyes across a wide expanse of text, potentially leading to eye strain, headaches, and other discomfort.
- Reduced Comprehension: When lines of text are too long, it can be challenging for readers to maintain their focus and track where they are in the text. This can lead to reduced comprehension and retention of the material being read.
- Reduced Reading Speed: When lines of text are too long, it can slow down reading speed, as the reader has to spend more time moving their eyes back and forth across the page to keep their place.
- Scrolling Issues: When lines of text are too long, it can cause issues with scrolling, as the user may need to scroll horizontally to read the text. This can be frustrating and disruptive to the reading experience.
Overall, overly long lines of text can negatively impact users by causing eye strain, reducing comprehension and reading speed, and causing scrolling issues. Therefore, it is important to keep line lengths within the optimal range to provide a comfortable and effective reading experience for users.
Therefore, it is recommended to keep the line length between 50 and 75 characters per line to optimize website readability and provide a comfortable reading experience for users.