I ran into this issue when designing an onboarding screen. I have the headline centered and the [NEXT] button as well. When there are two (or one) lines of text I prefer them centered as the overall alignment looks more balanced. When there three or more lines of text the sentences may look like an accordion in some languages and I really dislike justifying texts. Even if I try to match the length of the different text paragraphs for each screen I'll still run into this issue when translating them.

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Is this a bad way of doing it (cause I'd prefer not having "always center" or "always left align") or is it acceptable in your eyes?

  • You should try to keep onboarding text as succinct as possible. Having said that, a different strategy to left aligning a whole paragraph could be just to break it up into two lines and still centre aligning them.
    – Michael Lai
    Oct 11, 2018 at 23:53
  • @MichaelLai Yes, you're totally correct. We're adapting the text to fit in a maximum of three lines but because of translations it might be four lines in some cases.
    – Cheezen
    Oct 12, 2018 at 8:31

1 Answer 1


On a UX side you should not combine centered text with left aligned text when the text is like the example on the left.

When the text is shorter you can center it with a centered title, but as you are having a combination of both, in my opinion you have two options:

  • Make short sentences on all versions with center title, center text.
  • Align both the title and text to the left

Another thing is that given the fact you are on the onboarding, I would most certainly go with my first option. Shorten the sentences, center title, center text and make the icons speak a lot more than text!

  • 1
    On a UX side you should not combine centered text with left aligned text ... why? That's an awfully authoritative industry wide statement to make. Oct 11, 2018 at 17:12
  • 1
    The cognitive load increases as the eye has to scan a long centered text and each row will start at a different position than the previous.
    – Chris
    Oct 11, 2018 at 17:25
  • @Zasul Yes but he mentioned "centered text with left aligned text" and you're answering with "a long centered text".
    – Cheezen
    Oct 12, 2018 at 8:49

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