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    Tuesday, November 16, 2004

    Whitespace - what say?

    A small study was recently released about the impact of margins and leading (space between lines) on readability and comprehension of online text.

    I bring this up because it's a pertinent issue with all the weblogs that are popping up. Often times, you know on a gut-level what makes for a good looking blog, but you may not know why it's aesthetically pleasing. I think it has a lot to do with the use of whitespace.

    I would've guessed that text with margins and optimal leading would naturally produce a higher level of both readability and comprehension. But surprisingly, this isn't what was found. Although comprehension was better with margins, reading speed was actually better *without* margins. Less distance for the eye to travel? Who knows. Granted, the study involved only 20 participants, but it's an interesting conclusion.

    A whitespace haiku:

    Whitespace is better
    For the eyes and for the brain
    Now hand me a beer.