If your design doesn’t work for your reader, it just doesn’t work.
READING IS A conscious, willful act. It’s a choice—and the moment the reader decides to stop reading, well…she has stopped. Other media can be ignored, and yet they continue to grind out programming and ads. You can daydream while “listening” to the radio. You can play with the grandkids while “watching” TV. When reading your paper, however, the reader must be totally involved. To keep her involved, we must provide stories that are interesting and well written—in a package that helps to create the will to read. So, when you are working on your design, always keep the reader first in your mind. When you begin designing for yourself—perhaps to try a new color or a new headline approach—ask yourself first if the design will help the reader. If so, then go right ahead. If not, you are losing touch with your reader. Isn’t she the person you’re working for?