The following design crime has some basis in science. It’s science, people, can’t argue with science! And this is coming from a former art school girl who stopped liking science in 5th grade.

Design Crimes Part 4: Centering body text

Design Crimes Part 4The human eye gets accustomed to going to the left hand side of a page (or screen) for the start of every sentence. Center aligning text will disrupt this learned behavior and cause the eye to jump around. It may sound minor but considering how challenging it is to get people to read, why would you make it more difficult to do so?

Also centering causes some lines to be very short, sometimes only being one word after a long sentence. That little leftover word is called an orphan, how sad is that?

Centered text works best with fairly short lines, an invitation design is a great example. Centered headlines over fully-justified text works as well.

Right and wrong may not exist in graphic design, as there are many examples of talented designers being able to pull off non-standard design. However, most-effective and less-effective design does exist. Keep your audience in mind and avoid centering body text.

Outdated information

Spending so much time online it’s amazing how many sites include out-dated content. For the best customer experience make sure that your site is fresh and updated often. Can you afford the loss of credibility that can come from having dated content? Also, be sure all content is accurate. Fix any errors immediately.

Same for any promotional materials you have. No one wants to get a business card with a number or email crossed out. It’s not a good first impression. I understand you have spent money on those materials. But there’s a chance you’re not getting new customers based on old, dated content. It’s a matter of weighing the cost of a batch of new business cards over losing a potential client.

In conclusion, following best practices will keep you from committing any more “Design Crimes.”