How Reading on the Web is Different from Print

How Reading on the Web is Different from Print

How Users Read on the Web:

They don’t

  • Web users read about 20 percent of the words on a webpage. 
  • The more words on your webpage, the less they’ll read.

They scan.

  • Searching for very specific information.
  • Scanning for headings, specific words, links…anything that catches their attention or matches the reason they are visiting your website in the first place. 

About Those “Users”…

  • They are impatient: You have less than 12 seconds before they click off your page (and perhaps even your website).
  • Providing clear and concise messages is not about user intelligence. It is about the writer making it easy for the reader. 
  • Formatting content in scannable chunks is not about users’ inability to read dense copy. It is about presenting information in the way that people expect to see it on the web.