Recently a client asked that we alter the text layout on a site we built for them so that the text was fully justified by default. This is something we actively don't do as a matter of accessibility as we know that the full justification of text can make the readability of said text plummet.
We declined to justify the text for said reasons of accessibility and pointed out a few useful links to sites that argue against full justification of text and the reasons why it is so bad.
So this post is here to gather together those resources in one place so we can highlight these excellent posts and provide a single resource that points to them.
- RNIB - Is Justified text, err... justified?
- RNIB - See it right standard general guidance (MS Word document)
- Wikipedia - River (typography)
- PWS Ltd - Text justification issues and techniques
- e-bility - Enabling the Internet for people with dyslexia
- Skills for access - Maximise text readability
- Made for all - Designing for users with dyslexia
- Usability - An Accessibility Frontier: Cognitive disabilities and learning difficulties
- Web Dev Blog - Can justified text be justified for the web
So there you have it. A list (in no particular order) of some excellent resources that spell out just why building an accessible site with justified text simply cannot be justified.
I hope they help other accessibility minded web designers dissuade their clients from using justified text just as they dissuade ours.