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I am a writer and a developer. I wanted to publish my stories online and wanted to create my own website to publish. I was looking for some inspiration of a simple, readability oriented design.

Some key points:

  • The stories are for kids, about 7-12 years old.
  • I want to create a design which will focus more on the story and have less clutter.
  • Also, What would be the font, layout specifications, best suited for this kind of website?
  • Are there any inspiration websites which focus on readability?

Any additional input/opinion will be appreciated as well. Please let me know if you need more input from me. I have not started creating anything yet so I cannot give you anything to look at.

Thanks a lot.

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This doesn't actually sound like a question to me. Since you got some answers, I guess this is ok, but in the future perhaps try to make your question more specific. Ex: What are the important factors for a kids website focused on readability? –  Loren Rogers Nov 10 '12 at 16:50
    
I see your point. Will keep that in mind. –  sabertooth Nov 11 '12 at 1:19

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

"Generally the larger, 14-point font size was considered to be easier and quicker to read, as well as being more attractive and more desired to be used in schoolbooks. In addition, the Comic font type was perceived as being easier to read and more attractive, as well as being more desired to be used in schoolbooks than the other font types. Along with Arial, it was also preferred over the serif fonts for use in schoolbooks. Overall the 14-point Arial and the 12-point Comic was the most preferred font types."

You can read more here : Which Fonts Do Children Prefer to Read Online?

"Early primary years:

  • Use text redundantly with images so that pre-literate users can access your product.

  • Use simple text.

  • Use fonts that approximate how children learn to write. For example, many fonts use “a” and “q” in variants that do not match how some children are taught to write those letters.

  • Do not use dialog boxes.

  • Don’t require explicit “save” operations. Save work automatically.

  • Exclude extraneous content.

  • Provide highly interactive and engaging applications.

  • Avoid visually noisy interfaces – they are distracting.

  • Provide large target areas.

  • Allow children to personalize.

  • If applications will be used on a smartboard, do not use a footer that can be accidentally activated by children leaning against the surface.

  • Avoid errors.

  • Support cooperative use, with two or more children using your product at the same time.

  • Design to support teachers and parents or guardians, who are likely to be assisting or supervising usage."

You can read more here: Designing for Children

"When selecting a typeface for a children’s text, look for a warm, friendly design with simple, generous letter shapes."

You can read more here: Typography for Children

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1  
Hi Joanna, welcome to UX.SE! Nice answer, that's some useful research links. –  JonW Mar 18 '13 at 13:29
    
Thanks a lot Joanna! That was very helpful. –  sabertooth Mar 18 '13 at 17:02

I have been researching over the years about the same thing (I want to write a kids book)

I'm afraid I don't have links for you, just pointers:

  1. Small chunks of text at a time (4-5 lines, 7-9 words)

  2. The font should be bigger than the text here. 14pt perhaps.

  3. White space. Gutter space. White area all around the text and between chunks.

  4. Pictures if you can. If you want them to use their imagination, still give them at least 1 (for the kids whos imaginations need a jump start)

  5. Don't use wording that talks down to them, there is a fine line between being encouraging and condescending. Kids hate that.

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Even though the answer isn't complete, those are some very good and helpful pointers. –  sabertooth May 5 '11 at 17:25
2  
I would add to this - when picking navigational labels, bear in mind that children think much more concretely than adults. For example, in one case study I read, children interpreted a label like "My Profile" to mean "The profile of the person who made this site". They did not transfer "my" to apply to themselves. Usability went up when they changed the label to "your profile". So - try to avoid metaphors or indirect labels in your navigation. –  Will Martin Jul 10 '11 at 6:35
    
Do you have a link to that study, would be great to understand more of the context of that study, since I am wanting to use this as data at work. –  JeroenEijkhof Feb 3 '12 at 19:14

Dr. Allison Druin has written/edited a bunch of excellent books on designing UI for children. I suggest you take a look at those.

BTW, from last week's Smashing Mag: Best Practices for designing Websites for Kids

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In addition, I think the navigation needs to be a bit different: not too many bars and menus, even it has the trade-off of more clicks. Especially when it is orientated towards stories and reading. (Still, I would try to find a consistent way of providing enough information like chapter title, link to home, link to previous and next, so you can always find your way back and you have something to go on. Even if you come in from bookmarks or search engines, and for those (grand)parents that come along and have totally different ways of perceiving a website.)

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Yes. I was thinking of a very conservative top header. (~40px height) and was thinking of a floating previous next on either side of the story page, rather than at the top and/or bottom. –  sabertooth May 5 '11 at 19:39

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