Gunakan Rata Kiri (Align Left) dalam Tulisan Online

text alignment on web
Tampilan Naskah Media Online: Paragraf Rata Kiri (Align Left) vs Rata Kiri-Kanan (Justify/Fully Justified).

PENGGUNAAN alignment paragraf tulisan (teks) di media online, situs, termasuk blog (posting), apakah rata kiri (align-left ) atau rata kanan-kiri (justify), menjadi "perdebatan" tersendiri di kalangan webmaster, webdeveloper, webdesainer, dan blogger.

Mana yang lebih baik: rata kiri atau rata kanan? Jawabannya: dua-duanya baik. Pasalnya, di dunia desain grafis tidak ada ada istilah benar atau salah. yang ada hanya soal komunikasi efektif dan tidak efektif.

"Right and wrong do not exist in graphic design. There is only effective and non-effective communication." — Peter Bilak - Illegibility

Banyak yang memilih  justify dengan alasan lebih rapi. Cuma satu itu alasan utamanya. Lebih banyak lagi alias mayoritas memilih rata-kiri (align left) dengan alasan utama: lebuh mudah dibaca (readability), sesuai dengan kebiasaan pengguna (user experience/UX), dan --ini alasan utama-- rata kiri merupakan standar tulisan untuk website.

Justified Alignment is is actually non-standard for the web. (W3C Standards Commitee)

Formal vs Nonformal

Justify merupakan gaya penulisan formal yang cenderung kaku. Justify juga merupakan standar media cetak, terutama suratkabar, untuk menghemat ruang (space/kolom).

Namun, banyak juga media cetak, terutama tabloid dan majalah, yang menggunakan rata kiri untuk memberi kesan santai, rileks, dan lebih nyaman di mata.

Gunakan Rata Kiri!

Dari "riset online", dapat disimpulkan, untuk penulisan di website (online writing) rata kiri lebih unggul dan lebih baik dari justify.

Itulah sebabnya, situs-situs terkemuka di dunia, seperti Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, juga situs-situs berita seperti CNN, BBC, Detik, Kompas, Republika, Viva, Okezone, Tribun News, dan Merdeka menggunakan Align Left (Rata Kiri).

Penggunakan rata kiri oleh situs-situs ternama tersebut, menambah kekuatan UX bahwa rata kiri lebih User Friendly (ramah pengguna) ketimbang justify.

Karenanya, Gunakan Rata Kiri agar tampilan naskah di situs/blog sesuai dengan karakteristik medium (online/internet), sesuai dengan pengalaman pengguna (UX), dan lebih mudah dibaca (readability).

Namun, bukan pelanggaran pidana jika Anda tetap "maksa" ingin menggunakan align-text justify, cuma "tidak lazim" saja untik media online. Blog atau situs Anda menjadi terkesan antara "unik" dan "amatir" (semoga kesannya "unik" ya....:) )

Referensi Membuktikan: Align Left is The Best!

Berikut ini sejumlah referensi yang bisa dikaji lebih dalam soal rata kiri dan rata kiri-kanan dalam tampilan naskah online termasuk postingan (tex) blog.

About Fully-Justified Text
  • Often considered more formal, less friendly than left-aligned text. 
  • Usually allows for more characters per line, packing more into the same amount of space (than the same text set left-aligned).
  • May require extra attention to word and character spacing and hyphenation to avoid unsightly rivers of white space running through the text.
  • May be more familiar to readers in some types of publications, such as books and newspapers.
  • Some people are naturally drawn to the "neatness" of text that lines up perfectly on the left and right.

About Left-Aligned Text
  1. Often considered more informal, friendlier than justified text.
  2. The ragged right edge adds an element of white space.
  3. May require extra attention to hyphenation to keep right margin from being too ragged.
  4. Generally type set left-aligned is easier to work with (i.e. requires less time, attention, and tweaking from the designer to make it look good (Sumber: http://desktoppub.about.com/cs/typelayout/a/justifyleft.htm)

Alignment
Flush left, also called "ragged right," is the most readable alignment. It provides uniform or normal letter and word spacing, minimizes awkward hyphenation of words and provides the eye with a common starting point for each line. Any significant amount of text set centered or ragged left is very difficult to read because the eye must search for the start of each new line.

Justified alignment—flush left and right—compresses or expands letter and word spacing to fit a given line and can produce awkward hyphenation of words. The disadvantages of justified text can be reduced by increasing the line length or by decreasing the point size of the type, but that also may reduce readability.

On the Web, flush left is the universal standard. (Thom Myers, Western Michigan University. Link: http://wmich.edu/writing/readability).

Best Way to Align Text on a Web
Many people with cognitive disabilities have a great deal of trouble with blocks of text that are justified (aligned to both the left and the right margins). The spaces between words create "rivers of white" running down the page, which can make the text difficult for some people to read.

This failure describes situations where this confusing text layout occurs. The best way to avoid this problem is not to create text layout that is fully justified (aligned to both the left and the right margins).

Try looking at the reviews on Amazon.com, postings to your facebook wall, tweets from your favorite celebrities, and search engine listing results from Google. That's enough to tell me that left-aligned seems to be the way to go. (http://ux.stackexchange.com/questions/3199/best-way-to-align-text-on-a-website)

Justified Alignment
Most website readers prefer to have their text set out in fairly narrow columns, and with the text aligned left. This makes it easier to read.

Justified Alignment is is actually non-standard for the web, and the W3C standards commitee state the following :

Many people with cognitive disabilities have a great deal of trouble with blocks of text that are justified (aligned to both the left and the right margins). The spaces between words create “rivers of white” running down the page, which can make the text difficult for some people to read. This failure describes situations where this confusing text layout occurs. The best way to avoid this problem is not to create text layout that is fully justified (aligned to both the left and the right margins). (http://dmjcomputerservices.com/blog/why-you-shouldnt-align-html-justify).

Left-aligned text is easier to read than right-aligned text
Full justification (where words are stretched so that they meet both the left and right margin, as in this paragraph) is only effective with pretty long lines of text (40chars+).

However, on-screen text is easier to read in narrower columns, which makes it hard to justify full justification! In my opinion, a web page is the wrong place for fully-justified copy, because it doesn’t have the resolution to implement it smoothly. (http://webdesignfromscratch.com/basics/readability/#alignment).

Final Words

Dari sejumlah data atau opini di atas, dapat disimpulkan: rata kiri (align-left) adalah yang terbaik, lebih mudah dibaca, sesuai dengan standar website, cocok banget dengan pengalaman pengguna (UX), lebih ramah pengguna (user friendly), dan lebih efektif! Wasalam. (www.komunikasipraktis.com).*

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