E-mail List Archives

Thread: line length and myth of the fold

for

Number of posts in this thread: 13 (In chronological order)

From: Christophe Strobbe
Date: Fri, Apr 18 2008 6:40AM
Subject: line length and myth of the fold
No previous message | Next message

Hi Karl,

At 13:51 18/04/2008, Karl Groves wrote:
> > I think something like the Jello Mold approach
> > (...) is better - the page width (...)
> > has both minimum and maximum widths to accommodate
> > readability (not so narrow that things break and not so wide that it's
> > difficult to read long lines of text).
> >
>
>Not to totally derail this thread, but I'd like to point out that the belief
>that long lines of text is bad is rather unfounded. I've read a number of
>usability studies which have come to the conclusion that reading performance
>(speed and accuracy) does not differ significantly between line lengths[1].
>Some studies indicate there is a preference difference but I'm not convinced
>that's significant enough evidence to avoid long lines of text because by
>shortening lines of text you also run into issues with content being pushed
>below the fold. In my experience observing users in the lab, having
>important content placed below the fold is far more likely to cause
>information to go unnoticed by users.

I'd be very interested in the other studies you know, since line
length is now in WCAG 2.0 (SC 1.4.8:
<http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/WD-UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20-20071211/complete.html#visual-audio-contrast-visual-presentation>;).

With regard to content above or below the fold, I thought that there
was research debunking this myth. See for example the article at
<http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/blasting-the-myth-of>;.

Best regards,

Christophe


>1 - http://hubel.sfasu.edu/research/textmargin.html is just one of maybe 8
>studies I know of.
>
>Karl Groves


---
Please don't invite me to LinkedIn, Facebook, Quechup or other
"social networks". You may have agreed to their "privacy policy", but
I haven't.

--
Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 bus 2442
B-3001 Leuven-Heverlee
BELGIUM
tel: +32 16 32 85 51
http://www.docarch.be/


Disclaimer: http://www.kuleuven.be/cwis/email_disclaimer.htm

From: Karl Groves
Date: Fri, Apr 18 2008 7:10AM
Subject: Re: line length and myth of the fold
Previous message | Next message

> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto:webaim-forum-
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Christophe Strobbe
> Sent: Friday, April 18, 2008 8:34 AM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: [WebAIM] line length and myth of the fold
>
> Hi Karl,
>
> At 13:51 18/04/2008, Karl Groves wrote:
> > > I think something like the Jello Mold approach
> > > (...) is better - the page width (...)
> > > has both minimum and maximum widths to accommodate
> > > readability (not so narrow that things break and not so wide that
> it's
> > > difficult to read long lines of text).
> > >
> >
> >Not to totally derail this thread, but I'd like to point out that the
> belief
> >that long lines of text is bad is rather unfounded. I've read a
> number of
> >usability studies which have come to the conclusion that reading
> performance
> >(speed and accuracy) does not differ significantly between line
> lengths[1].
> >Some studies indicate there is a preference difference but I'm not
> convinced
> >that's significant enough evidence to avoid long lines of text because
> by
> >shortening lines of text you also run into issues with content being
> pushed
> >below the fold. In my experience observing users in the lab, having
> >important content placed below the fold is far more likely to cause
> >information to go unnoticed by users.
>
> I'd be very interested in the other studies you know, since line
> length is now in WCAG 2.0 (SC 1.4.8:
> <http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/WD-UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20-
> 20071211/complete.html#visual-audio-contrast-visual-presentation>).

I'll be sure to post them in the next day or so. I certainly wonder where
they came up with 80 characters and who did so.


>
> With regard to content above or below the fold, I thought that there
> was research debunking this myth. See for example the article at
> <http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/blasting-the-myth-of>;.
>

The issue is primarily in the idea that people may not know there is content
below the fold, primarily when the page "looks done" - in other words when
the design of the page gives the impression that everything is above the
fold. I once sat in on a study with a major government website where users
needed to interact with an interface that was designed in such a way that
gave the impression that everything they needed to work with was already
there. Almost every participant missed that important stuff was below the
fold.

Does that mean that we need to make sure everything is above the fold? No.
But what it does mean is that it needs to be readily apparent that there is
content below the fold. I think on a practical level, this means *avoiding*
that illusion of completeness. This is Gestalt psychology 101, really
(http://graphicdesign.spokanefalls.edu/tutorials/process/gestaltprinciples/g
estaltprinc.htm).

I think it bears mentioning that the Boxes and Arrows article you linked
above cites some automated click tracking study which tracked whether or not
people scrolled. Automated tools are no more suitable for Usability than
they are for Accessibility - actually less so. The idea that scrolling is
OK because people scroll means nothing. What matters is whether or not
people actually saw what they were looking for and were able to complete a
task successfully and efficiently. To use an analogy suitable for this
forum, think of this as saying some web page passed an accessibility check
merely because there were alt attributes on images. What matters is the
content of the alt attributes, not whether they exist - again, something no
automated tool can tell that.


Karl Groves


> Best regards,
>
> Christophe
>
>
> >1 - http://hubel.sfasu.edu/research/textmargin.html is just one of
> maybe 8
> >studies I know of.
> >
> >Karl Groves
>
>
> ---
> Please don't invite me to LinkedIn, Facebook, Quechup or other
> "social networks". You may have agreed to their "privacy policy", but
> I haven't.
>
> --
> Christophe Strobbe
> K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
> Research Group on Document Architectures
> Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 bus 2442
> B-3001 Leuven-Heverlee
> BELGIUM
> tel: +32 16 32 85 51
> http://www.docarch.be/
>
>
> Disclaimer: http://www.kuleuven.be/cwis/email_disclaimer.htm
>
>

From: Austin, Darrel
Date: Fri, Apr 18 2008 7:30AM
Subject: Re: line length and myth of the fold
Previous message | Next message

> I'll be sure to post them in the next day or so. I certainly wonder
> where
> they came up with 80 characters and who did so.

It seems that even with the research there is, there still isn't a
dramatic difference between line lengths in terms of
performance/preference. It tends to be an over-emphasized issue. It's
also a very difficult thing to control with any sort of accuracy online
if one is also concerned about accommodating things like varied browser
viewport sizes and settings.

Granted, aesthetically there are plenty of arguments, but in terms of
actual ease of reading, one needs to realize few folks are reading
novels on their computer monitors.

> > With regard to content above or below the fold, I thought that there
> > was research debunking this myth. See for example the article at
> > <http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/blasting-the-myth-of>;.

The report 'Scent of Information' from UIE touches on that as well:

http://www.uie.com/reports/scent_of_information/

The report helped dismiss a lot of old-wives tales that marketing folks
like to toss out all the time (everything above the fold...no more than
7 links...only 3 clicks to get to every single page on the site!)

> The issue is primarily in the idea that people may not know there is
> content
> below the fold, primarily when the page "looks done" - in other words
> when
> the design of the page gives the impression that everything is above
> the
> fold.

Agreed. That is a definitely a concern one needs to watch out for.

-Darrel

From: Moore, Michael
Date: Fri, Apr 18 2008 8:20AM
Subject: Re: line length and myth of the fold
Previous message | Next message

Regarding the 80 character line count from the W3C's WCAG 2.0 Visual
Presentation:
Understanding SC 1.4.8 and the difficulty of ensuring that the text
width does not exceed 80 characters. The techniques section of the
article includes not interfering with reflow. Thus if a users display
device allows the text to extend beyond 80 characters that is not an
issue. The user can control the line length by adjusting the width of
the browser window, if that improves readability for them.

The idea behind many accessibility concepts is not to interfere with the
user's ability to transform content as needed so that he or she can
understand what is there. Just a few examples:

1. Text scaling allows users to increase text size to a comfortable
level.
2. Text alternatives allow users with screen readers to transform visual
elements into sound.
3. Overridable foreground and backgrounds on stylesheets allow users to
adjust color and contrast to meet their needs.
4. Reflowable content allows users adjust the line length of the text to
improve readability.

Some things that we do require the use of assistive technologies to
complete the transformation, but increasingly accommodation is available
through the browser itself. What many designers and "marketing
professionals" need to understand is that with the web, it is not even
possible to predict the environment in which the content will be viewed.
IMHO an effective web page will always emphasize substance over style.
Outright heresy in the marketing world.

Mike


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Karl Groves
Sent: Friday, April 18, 2008 8:01 AM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] line length and myth of the fold


> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto:webaim-forum-
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Christophe Strobbe
> Sent: Friday, April 18, 2008 8:34 AM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: [WebAIM] line length and myth of the fold
>
> Hi Karl,
>
> At 13:51 18/04/2008, Karl Groves wrote:
> > > I think something like the Jello Mold approach
> > > (...) is better - the page width (...) has both minimum and
> > > maximum widths to accommodate readability (not so narrow that
> > > things break and not so wide that
> it's
> > > difficult to read long lines of text).
> > >
> >
> >Not to totally derail this thread, but I'd like to point out that the
> belief
> >that long lines of text is bad is rather unfounded. I've read a
> number of
> >usability studies which have come to the conclusion that reading
> performance
> >(speed and accuracy) does not differ significantly between line
> lengths[1].
> >Some studies indicate there is a preference difference but I'm not
> convinced
> >that's significant enough evidence to avoid long lines of text
> >because
> by
> >shortening lines of text you also run into issues with content being
> pushed
> >below the fold. In my experience observing users in the lab, having
> >important content placed below the fold is far more likely to cause
> >information to go unnoticed by users.
>
> I'd be very interested in the other studies you know, since line
> length is now in WCAG 2.0 (SC 1.4.8:
> <http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/WD-UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20-
> 20071211/complete.html#visual-audio-contrast-visual-presentation>).

I'll be sure to post them in the next day or so. I certainly wonder
where they came up with 80 characters and who did so.


>
> With regard to content above or below the fold, I thought that there
> was research debunking this myth. See for example the article at
> <http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/blasting-the-myth-of>;.
>

The issue is primarily in the idea that people may not know there is
content below the fold, primarily when the page "looks done" - in other
words when the design of the page gives the impression that everything
is above the fold. I once sat in on a study with a major government
website where users needed to interact with an interface that was
designed in such a way that gave the impression that everything they
needed to work with was already there. Almost every participant missed
that important stuff was below the fold.

Does that mean that we need to make sure everything is above the fold?
No.
But what it does mean is that it needs to be readily apparent that there
is content below the fold. I think on a practical level, this means
*avoiding* that illusion of completeness. This is Gestalt psychology
101, really
(http://graphicdesign.spokanefalls.edu/tutorials/process/gestaltprincipl
es/g
estaltprinc.htm).

I think it bears mentioning that the Boxes and Arrows article you linked
above cites some automated click tracking study which tracked whether or
not people scrolled. Automated tools are no more suitable for Usability
than they are for Accessibility - actually less so. The idea that
scrolling is OK because people scroll means nothing. What matters is
whether or not people actually saw what they were looking for and were
able to complete a task successfully and efficiently. To use an analogy
suitable for this forum, think of this as saying some web page passed an
accessibility check merely because there were alt attributes on images.
What matters is the content of the alt attributes, not whether they
exist - again, something no automated tool can tell that.


Karl Groves


> Best regards,
>
> Christophe
>
>
> >1 - http://hubel.sfasu.edu/research/textmargin.html is just one of
> maybe 8
> >studies I know of.
> >
> >Karl Groves
>
>
> ---
> Please don't invite me to LinkedIn, Facebook, Quechup or other "social

> networks". You may have agreed to their "privacy policy", but I
> haven't.
>
> --
> Christophe Strobbe
> K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD Research Group on
> Document Architectures Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 bus 2442
> B-3001 Leuven-Heverlee
> BELGIUM
> tel: +32 16 32 85 51
> http://www.docarch.be/
>
>
> Disclaimer: http://www.kuleuven.be/cwis/email_disclaimer.htm
>
>

From: Patrick H. Lauke
Date: Fri, Apr 18 2008 11:50AM
Subject: Re: line length and myth of the fold
Previous message | Next message

Austin, Darrel wrote:

> It seems that even with the research there is, there still isn't a
> dramatic difference between line lengths in terms of
> performance/preference. It tends to be an over-emphasized issue.

Even for users with cognitive difficulties, I wonder...

P
--
Patrick H. Lauke
______________________________________________________________
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
http://redux.deviantart.com
______________________________________________________________
Co-lead, Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
http://webstandards.org/
______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________
To manage your subscription, visit http://list.webaim.org/
Address list messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =

From: Patrick H. Lauke
Date: Fri, Apr 18 2008 12:00PM
Subject: Re: line length and myth of the fold
Previous message | Next message

Christophe Strobbe wrote:

> At 13:51 18/04/2008, Karl Groves wrote:

>> Not to totally derail this thread, but I'd like to point out that the belief
>> that long lines of text is bad is rather unfounded. I've read a number of
>> usability studies which have come to the conclusion that reading performance
>> (speed and accuracy) does not differ significantly between line lengths[1].

> I'd be very interested in the other studies you know, since line
> length is now in WCAG 2.0 (SC 1.4.8:
> <http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/WD-UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20-20071211/complete.html#visual-audio-contrast-visual-presentation>;).

I think it's worth jumping in here to say that it's not really about
speed/accuracy/performance for users with potential cognitive
disabilities. I'll hazard a guess that the usability studies mentioned
didn't take that into account.

I've recently discussed the 80 characters thing at length with Gregg
Vanderheiden from the WCAG WG.

See
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-comments-wcag20/2008Apr/0069.html

Also note that the very latest draft is here
http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/WD-WCAG20-20080310/#visual-audio-contrast-visual-presentation

--
Patrick H. Lauke
______________________________________________________________
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
http://redux.deviantart.com
______________________________________________________________
Co-lead, Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
http://webstandards.org/
______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________
To manage your subscription, visit http://list.webaim.org/
Address list messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =

From: Karl Groves
Date: Fri, Apr 18 2008 12:50PM
Subject: Re: line length and myth of the fold
Previous message | Next message

As mentioned in the post below, here's just a handful more resources on
line-length and usability:

http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/42/text_length.htm
http://www.webusability.com/article_line_length_12_2002.htm
http://www.usability.gov/pubs/082006news.html
http://www.ischool.utexas.edu/~adillon/Journals/bitpaper_files/Display%20siz
e.htm
http://www.cjlt.ca/content/vol28.1/mcmullin_etal.html



> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto:webaim-forum-
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Karl Groves
> Sent: Friday, April 18, 2008 9:01 AM
> To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] line length and myth of the fold
>
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto:webaim-forum-
> > = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Christophe Strobbe
> > Sent: Friday, April 18, 2008 8:34 AM
> > To: WebAIM Discussion List
> > Subject: [WebAIM] line length and myth of the fold
> >
> > Hi Karl,
> >
> > At 13:51 18/04/2008, Karl Groves wrote:
> > > > I think something like the Jello Mold approach
> > > > (...) is better - the page width (...)
> > > > has both minimum and maximum widths to accommodate
> > > > readability (not so narrow that things break and not so wide that
> > it's
> > > > difficult to read long lines of text).
> > > >
> > >
> > >Not to totally derail this thread, but I'd like to point out that
> the
> > belief
> > >that long lines of text is bad is rather unfounded. I've read a
> > number of
> > >usability studies which have come to the conclusion that reading
> > performance
> > >(speed and accuracy) does not differ significantly between line
> > lengths[1].
> > >Some studies indicate there is a preference difference but I'm not
> > convinced
> > >that's significant enough evidence to avoid long lines of text
> because
> > by
> > >shortening lines of text you also run into issues with content being
> > pushed
> > >below the fold. In my experience observing users in the lab, having
> > >important content placed below the fold is far more likely to cause
> > >information to go unnoticed by users.
> >
> > I'd be very interested in the other studies you know, since line
> > length is now in WCAG 2.0 (SC 1.4.8:
> > <http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/WD-UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20-
> > 20071211/complete.html#visual-audio-contrast-visual-presentation>).
>
> I'll be sure to post them in the next day or so. I certainly wonder
> where
> they came up with 80 characters and who did so.
>
>
> >
> > With regard to content above or below the fold, I thought that there
> > was research debunking this myth. See for example the article at
> > <http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/blasting-the-myth-of>;.
> >
>
> The issue is primarily in the idea that people may not know there is
> content
> below the fold, primarily when the page "looks done" - in other words
> when
> the design of the page gives the impression that everything is above
> the
> fold. I once sat in on a study with a major government website where
> users
> needed to interact with an interface that was designed in such a way
> that
> gave the impression that everything they needed to work with was
> already
> there. Almost every participant missed that important stuff was below
> the
> fold.
>
> Does that mean that we need to make sure everything is above the fold?
> No.
> But what it does mean is that it needs to be readily apparent that
> there is
> content below the fold. I think on a practical level, this means
> *avoiding*
> that illusion of completeness. This is Gestalt psychology 101, really
> (http://graphicdesign.spokanefalls.edu/tutorials/process/gestaltprincip
> les/g
> estaltprinc.htm).
>
> I think it bears mentioning that the Boxes and Arrows article you
> linked
> above cites some automated click tracking study which tracked whether
> or not
> people scrolled. Automated tools are no more suitable for Usability
> than
> they are for Accessibility - actually less so. The idea that scrolling
> is
> OK because people scroll means nothing. What matters is whether or not
> people actually saw what they were looking for and were able to
> complete a
> task successfully and efficiently. To use an analogy suitable for this
> forum, think of this as saying some web page passed an accessibility
> check
> merely because there were alt attributes on images. What matters is
> the
> content of the alt attributes, not whether they exist - again,
> something no
> automated tool can tell that.
>
>
> Karl Groves
>
>
> > Best regards,
> >
> > Christophe
> >
> >
> > >1 - http://hubel.sfasu.edu/research/textmargin.html is just one of
> > maybe 8
> > >studies I know of.
> > >
> > >Karl Groves
> >
> >
> > ---
> > Please don't invite me to LinkedIn, Facebook, Quechup or other
> > "social networks". You may have agreed to their "privacy policy", but
> > I haven't.
> >
> > --
> > Christophe Strobbe
> > K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
> > Research Group on Document Architectures
> > Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 bus 2442
> > B-3001 Leuven-Heverlee
> > BELGIUM
> > tel: +32 16 32 85 51
> > http://www.docarch.be/
> >
> >
> > Disclaimer: http://www.kuleuven.be/cwis/email_disclaimer.htm
> >
> >

From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Fri, Apr 18 2008 1:30PM
Subject: Re: line length and myth of the fold
Previous message | Next message

Karl Groves wrote:

> As mentioned in the post below, here's just a handful more resources
> on line-length and usability:
>
> http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/42/text_length.htm

Quickly checked that one. It says that no difference in reading speed
was observed (note that only short texts were considered) and that
people expressed subjective preference for shorter lines. Note that
testing only three lengths is problematic - the _optimum_ is hardly any
of them. The study is far too limited for any serious conclusions,
except perhaps mildly to the direction _opposite_ to your agenda.

If you wish to "debunk the myth", you need to do better than that. For
example, to present a reputable meta-study (over the many studies on
this topic) or a very large study.

Just picking up a few studies with conclusions you like (and not even
very carefully, as the above example shows) should not convince anyone.

There are two real problems with line length. One is excessively short
length, often appearing on portal-type sites or on pages that somehow
imitate newspaper format, with many narrow columns. The other one is
unlimited length, which you get when you author very simply without
trying anything particular.

Excessively short line length is a symptom of poor overall design. It
cannot be solved in isolation but only by refraining from such design.
But line length considerations can be relevant arguments in favor of a
design change.

Unlimited line length might be seen as a non-problem, since users can
normally control the window width. It might be a nuisance factor, if
people visit both newspaper-style pages and simple-style pages, but
that's basically a usability problem rather than accessibility. And it's
not obvious at all what should be done, technically. Personally, I'm
inclined into something like

@media screen {
body { max-width: 40em; }
}

(knowing that it doesn't work on IE 6 and older ).


Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

From: Karl Groves
Date: Fri, Apr 18 2008 2:00PM
Subject: Re: line length and myth of the fold
Previous message | Next message

> If you wish to "debunk the myth", you need to do better than that. For
> example, to present a reputable meta-study (over the many studies on
> this topic) or a very large study.

It seems to me the burden of proof is on the shoulders of those who claim
long lines are bad. Merely stating that "people with cognitive disorders may
have problems" isn't enough. Far too much in the field of accessibility is
based on conjecture. This sort of claim is exactly that - conjecture. I
don't see any statistically valid evidence based on studies involving users
with cognitive disorders to back it up. If published guidelines are going
to make claims which base conformance on measurable units, they'd better be
backed up with real data, otherwise it will be less than useless. We would
all do well to understand that the vast majority of web publishers out there
don't know as much about accessibility as we do and putting out
conjecture-based guidelines stands to mislead people who don't know any
better.

Karl


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Fri, Apr 18 2008 2:10PM
Subject: Re: line length and myth of the fold
Previous message | Next message

Karl Groves wrote:

> It seems to me the burden of proof is on the shoulders of those who
> claim long lines are bad.

No, it isn't. It is (for some values of "long") an established expert
opinion and recommendation, backed up by several studies. It is
fruitless to raise the issue as if it were something new and
extraordinary.

Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

From: Karl Groves
Date: Fri, Apr 18 2008 2:40PM
Subject: Re: line length and myth of the fold
Previous message | Next message

> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto:webaim-forum-
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jukka K. Korpela
> Sent: Friday, April 18, 2008 3:58 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] line length and myth of the fold
>
> Karl Groves wrote:
>
> > It seems to me the burden of proof is on the shoulders of those who
> > claim long lines are bad.
>
> No, it isn't. It is (for some values of "long") an established expert
> opinion and recommendation, backed up by several studies. It is
> fruitless to raise the issue as if it were something new and
> extraordinary.
>

Which experts would those be, exactly? The typography experts you mentioned
earlier?
Apart from the bare assertion fallacy you create above, I've not yet seen
any evidence presented by you that long lines are bad and, furthermore, that
there's any quantitative (or heck, even qualitative) evidence that people
with cognitive disorders have problems with long text lines. Until that's
done, we clearly have nothing more to add to this thread.

Karl


From: DAVOUD TOHIDY
Date: Fri, Apr 18 2008 3:50PM
Subject: Re: line length and myth of the fold
Previous message | Next message

> Karl Groves wrote:
>Until that's done, we clearly have nothing more to add to this thread.

Long lines if achieved by fluid layout may cause readability and layout
stability problems when resizing the browsers' window or applying other
stresses for users without any disorder leave alone the users with for
instance dyslexia.

I agree with you that there is a need to conduct a research on the line length.
However evidences such as the layout stability problem shows that constraining
lines improves the readability and usability of web content.

Now in regards to people with say dyslexia the following might worth to have a look:

http://www.dyslexia-parent.com/mag35.html

Davoud
P.S:to contribute to my research please visit:
http://cssfreelancer.awardspace.com/stability.html

From: Austin, Darrel
Date: Mon, Apr 21 2008 2:20PM
Subject: Re: line length and myth of the fold
Previous message | No next message

> If you wish to "debunk the myth", you need to do better than that. For
> example, to present a reputable meta-study (over the many studies on
> this topic) or a very large study.

Are there studies that prove either side of the argument? I haven't
really seen conclusive evidence either way.

-Darrel