Art and Design

Wikipedia’s Readability is Shit

Bookmarked Why does Wikipedia’s design have such long lines of text while it is known that this reduces readability? – Quora (

Anything from 45 to 75 characters is widely regarded as a satisfactory length of line for a single-column page set in a serifed text face in a text size. The 66-character line (counting both letters and spaces) is widely regarded as ideal. For multiple column work, a better average is 40 to 50 characters.
— Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style.

Why is Wikipedia so ugly and hard to read? It doesn’t have to be that way. Every time I open it on my desktop it pisses me off. How can you purport to be such a source of knowledge when you make it so shit to read?

Someone designed a possible update.

So did this Swedish design firm.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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