A well-designed website carefully balances images and text to convey the intended meaning. There are two main factors to consider when designing the site – how text will affect the layout, and how the site appears to visually impaired users.
Text and wireframes
Web designers love to create wireframes that show how a completed website will look. As part of these wireframes they often include placeholders for the text. But to maintain the overall appearance of the site, the placeholder is constrained – you have to fit the text to the box, risking important details being left out of the finished design.
Try and get involved with your web designer from the start of the design process to ensure that designs accommodate everything you need to say.
Text and the visually impaired
Blind and visually impaired customers can surf the web with the assistance of ‘screen reading’ browsers. These browsers read aloud the contents of webpages so that the user understands what is written on screen.
Consequently, screen readers struggle with image-heavy websites, so that the user does not understand what they are being told. Where a website fails to deliver the information they need, the user will simply click-off to visit a competitor with a site that better balances images and text.
Online graphics and videos are on the rise, and rightly so, but it is extremely important to consider your text at every stage of the design process.