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Space: Use It Well

Densely written documents stand in line to enter a "chunking salon." One remarks, looking at a properly chunked document exiting the salon, "Gasp! He's so easy to read!"This is Episode 1 of our journey into space. For more adventures, check out Episode 2 and Episode 3

If you’re a health communicator, it’s important to know that space is your friend. Learn to love space. Don’t see it as an area to fill up with content, but rather as an area to show off the content you already have. Use it strategically.

As we’ve said before, dear readers, people are more likely to skip over content that looks overwhelming or hard to read — even if it’s written using simple words. One trick we’ve already shared is picking the right font. Another trick is to leave more space above your headers than below them.

Why is this a helpful technique? Because having more space above a header than below it creates “chunks” of content that are easy to scan, making your content appear more accessible.

If you have an equal amount of space above and below a header, the header will seem to float and your readers won’t be able to quickly associate it with the body text below.

Who needs to get the flu shot?

Everyone age 6 months or older.

When should I get the flu shot?

As soon as possible, usually in the fall.

But if you don’t leave any white space between headers and body text, your readers won’t be able to scan the content quickly.

Who needs to get the flu shot?
Everyone age 6 months or older.
When should I get the flu shot?
As soon as possible, usually in the fall.

If you leave more space above the header than below it, your readers will thank you.

Who needs to get the flu shot?
Everyone age 6 months or older.

When should I get the flu shot?
As soon as possible, usually in the fall.

The bottom line: Make your content look easy to read by leaving more space above headers than below them.

Tweet about it: Give your content space to show off! Leave more room above your headers than below: http://bit.ly/1idvHz1 via @CommunicateHlth #HealthLit

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