Reading comes easily to some of us. Some of us can not only comprehend the text we see, but we can see it in the first place.
There are thousands, millions, of people in the world who cannot say that. Perhaps they are blind. Perhaps they have literacy problems. Perhaps they’re reading a web page in a language that is unfamiliar to them.
Those problems are enduring in nature, but sometimes we just can’t read a web page because of a temporary glitch, such as the one my friend Rachel suffered last week. Here’s what she writes about it:
I bang on about accessibility all the time, but the problems for me personally are largely hypothetical. In real life, I can usually read and write. How marvellous is that?
But last week text splintered into bits and bobs, holes appeared in paragraphs, book pages pulsed with yellow and grey polka dots, staircases and shells and sparkling diamonds competed for my attention, and I could not fixate on more than one word at a time.
… But after my second visit to the GP I came away relieved that this was “only” a migraine. It passed. It got no worse. It’s not eye disease or a brain tumour. Which means this week I revert to reading with ease.
… When writing web content, have mercy on your readers. Orderliness and white space help us. So does conciseness. So I’ll stop now.
[Via Contented: In praise of reading.]