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Blog Exercises: Leave Room for the Reader

Blog Exercises on Lorelle on WordPress.“You must leave room for the viewer to rest and breath as they look at your photograph.”

These wise words were told to me by a long-time professional photographer, gone these many years. As I studied with her and others saying similar things, I began to understand what they meant and applied it eventually to my web design.

There must be space for the reader on your site. Visual space. Verbal space. Quiet places for the reader to rest, absorb, process, and consider what you’ve presented before them.

Look at your site. Is there room for the reader?

This whitespace goes beyond the visual. It is also contextual.

Consider why you don’t get enough comments, if you get any comments at all. Maybe your writing leaves no room for them to say anything because you’ve said it all.

Photography by Lorelle VanFossen - The Tools on the Garage Wall of Don Lee. Woodworking and automotive tools.

Even in this photograph of my cousin’s garage, a wall cluttered with tools from woodworking, boating, and car remodeling, there are places for the viewer to rest their eye among the clutter and just absorb the history behind these old, well-used tools. You can do the same with your site.

Blog Exercise Task from Lorelle on WordPress.Your blog exercise today is to explore your site graphically, visually, and contextually to identify the places where you’ve made room for the reader to rest and consider what you’ve written, and possibly comment upon it.

Look for crowded spaces and open them up. Look for clutter and remove it.

Look for articles that tell the whole story and edit them to allow the reader to be heard, or at least invited to be heard. To join in on the conversation.

You can find more Blog Exercises on . This is a year-long challenge to help you flex your blogging muscles.


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.

5 Comments

  1. Posted December 8, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    As you know I’m visually challenged and I want to say a big thank you to you for publishing this, Lorelle. Most people don’t comprehend how important white space is. It gives us time to rest our eyes and think about what we have read. It gives us time and space to engage with content. White space allows us to comprehend text and connect from point to point so what’s being shared with us is clear and that’s what we bloggers all want our readers to do. Thank you.

  2. Posted December 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I believe in the idea of white space in design to both highlight features and give the reader’s eye a clear space void of content. This is why I also like double spacing between paragraphs and I’d rather have short paragraphs versus blocks of solid text.

    PS- I think your quote should be “breathe” with the e on the end.

  3. Posted March 10, 2014 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this. Been looking at my blog thinking it is beginning to feel cluttered.
    It IS a very visual site being poetry and art (with all the rest thrown in)
    Amazing how quickly we can lose the focus, to find yourself looking and thinking – ‘well maybe it is time for a new theme to fit all this stuff in better?’

    NOW – to go figure out how to de-clutter!! (blog and house!)
    I believe spring cleaning is in othe air ;)

    You have given great ideas of where to begin at least ~
    Cheers :D


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