Written on February 3, 2014 by  /  with no comments  /  in the Guest Posts category.

Ergodic Text And Your Web Design

Good web design thinks about the content as much as the rest of the design, and creates a design that elevates that content, that brings it to the fore, and that makes it stand out as a pleasure to read. Good web design you don’t notice – it simply acts as a conduit between you and the content.

That’s good web design. Great web design on the other hand actually incorporates the text as part of the layout and uses it as a part of the overall aesthetic composition of the pages.

How to Make Text Look Great

FF Yoga (Type System): All Weights

So how do you incorporate your content into your site design and make it a part of the look? Well there are several things you can do, and really the question you should ask yourself is how far you want to go with it.

For instance, one way to make your text more attractive is simply to choose a great font. This is something that many designers will consider as an afterthought, but actually it can make a huge difference not only to the user experience (whether it is pleasant or not to read your site will of course be closely linked to your font and text color) but also to the whole look of your site. Choose the right font and you can make your entire site look much slicker and much beautiful so that it really leaps off of the page.

Another thing to consider though is the way you arrange the text, and the way you set it out on the page. This is something that 99% of bloggers and webmasters give absolutely zero thought to, but again it can completely transform the experience of visiting your site for the better if you think about it well.

For instance, ask yourself where you want your text to sit in relation to your images. Ask how narrow you want your text to be or how wide you want the paragraphs. This will in turn affect how much space there are for other things, it will affect how much your visitors are required to scroll up and down when reading, and it will affect how welcoming or dense the text looks.

So What is Ergodic Text?

But then if you get really creative you might find yourself asking: why does the text have to be in a rectangular formation at all? Why does every blog post and every article on every website have to look the same? Couldn’t you arrange your text differently to look like a tree? Or couldn’t you turn it upside down? Do you have to keep the font the same throughout the page, or couldn’t you use different sizes, different styles and different colors to create something that is fascinating to look at and read?

If you do these things then what you’re essentially doing is creating ‘ergodic’ text. Ergodic writing is writing that doesn’t follow the usual format of going straight down in a line, but which rather moves around the page and transforms in interesting ways. Often this is somewhat challenging for the reader to follow, but then this is regularly part of the ‘fun’ of reading it.

How to Make it Work for You

Of course ergodic writing is most regularly used in fiction and used sparingly. It tends to be a device used for literary experimentation rather than as a main form of communication as it simply requires too much energy to read.

But used in the right way, this sort of content can have a benefit to your website. Ergodic writing for instance can be used subtly website design– even if you just make your article on claustrophobia a little more narrow in order to echo that feeling of being closed in. Likewise it can also be a highly useful feature for just one or two of your more unusual pages as a way to attract interest and to get people to look closer when they might otherwise have moved on. That’s exciting at its best!

Load up a page of ergodic text and you will know you’re looking at something different. I challenge anyone to look at a page with a segment of upside-down text and not be curious enough to try tilting their head to one side…

The author of this article, Tim Stephen, works for Trice Web Development Inc., a company providing internet marketing for small businesses. Tim is not only good at blogging but he can rappel as well.

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