Improve your pages to match how users read on the WebHere is a short summary of an article entitled "How users read on the Web".
In a recent study, John Morkes and Jakob Nielsen have discovered that 4
users out of 5 scan the web pages taking words from some paragraphs, rather
than reading them word after word, from the start to the end of the text.
Here is the method for designing web page that are made to be more easily scanned:
- Create significant sub-titles rather than clever ones.
- Use lists, just as this one you are reading ;)
- Highlight important words.
- Avoid long paragraphs : only one idea per paragraph.
- Start by the conclusion, at global level and for each section.
- Be credible, one doesn't know who has written the text. A good writing style is required, avoid a marketing style and always quote your sources with outbound links.
Here are results from the study by the two authors, the improvement for each rules and the effects on readers of all rules combined together:
- The starting point: a marketing paragraph without any of the improvement described above, it is given a reference value of 0.
- The text is rewritten to be more concise: 60 % of improvement for readability, and for what is memorized by the reader.
- Using again the starting text, a list is created to ease scanning: 50% of improvement.
- The original text is rewritten in a neutral style without marketing phrase: 30 % of improvement.
- The previous modifications are combined all together: neutral text, concise
text, one idea per paragraph, and a list:125% of improvement!