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Designing A Website: Are You Excluding People?

  • February 01, 2016
  • Blog

You’ve written a book. You want readers, right? Of course you do.

So you market (hopefully before your book is available). You use social media to get the word out and you’ve created a website or blog page. You want your site to be exciting and popular. So you dazzle with lights and colors and action.


You might be making a big mistake.

One day I was with a friend at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We were in a section where the walls were painted a lovely maroon, completely in sync with the art and history that was displayed. But instead of using those white index cards with black text that describe each piece, someone at the museum decided to make the cards maroon with black text.

I turned to my friend. “Isn’t it pretty how it all matches?”

She shook her head. “I can’t read it. I can’t read any of it.”

I was dumbfounded when she explained. She had a form of dyslexia that literally prevented her from reading anything with those colors. I knew her as a voracious reader and never heard of colors affecting her ability to read before. (Apparently, yellow and lime green also cause her problems—both as fonts and as backgrounds.)

I’m sure there are others out there like her. We need to think beyond “eye catching” when we market our work. We need to make sure everyone can simply read it.

Can you afford to lose one reader, a reader who would enjoy your work? We can’t be all things to all people, but this is something to keep in mind.

P.S. I’ll be revamping my website in the near future and will be taking my own advice. J

* Image courtesy of paisan191 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • jan • February 1, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    I keep thinking I need to revamp my website but so far that’s as far as I’ve gotten!

    • J. M. Levinton • February 2, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      I’ve been looking at websites I admire and finally contacted one designer. We’re hashing out the details now but I expect it to take the time it takes.

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