- Featured Columnists
Table of Contents
- Web Basics
- Publishing on the Web: Putting Files on the Server
- Web Design Process and Workflow
- Project Management
- Mark My WWWord: HTML and XHTML
- Standards Compliance
- Meta Tags and Search
- Enhancing Web Page Interaction
- Web Graphics
- Web Page Optimization
- RSS: What’s it for?
- Emphasize Hyper in Hypertext
- Give 'em Something to Talk About
- What's a product without a selling point?
- Site Matters
- Organize This!
- Inverted Pyramid – No Toppling
- Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder
- Whizzy Things and Other Distracting Objects
- Don't Make Me Read Twice
- What the Font Does It Say?
- No Flaunting Creative or Fancy Lexicon, Better Yet Cut to the Chase
- Cut the Fat
- Text Harmony and Understanding (and Consistency)
- Peace and Link Love
- Tale of Two Proofs
- Just the Facts, Ma'am
- Books and e-Books
- Online Resources
- Overview of Servers
- Server Programming Basics
- Careers in Web Design
- Intellectual Property for Web Designers
Emphasize Hyper in Hypertext
Last updated Oct 17, 2003.
Though readers crave online content, they approach online content differently than reading paper. The Stanford-Poynter study (http://www.poynter.org/eyetrack2000/) indicates nearly 80 percent of the readers read article summaries rather than complete articles. When viewing complete articles, readers only read 75 percent of the text. Also, in online reading our eyes naturally go to the center of the screen instead of top to bottom, and left to right when reading print.
When converting an article from paper to screen, try trimming it 50 percent and omitting needless words such as really and very and facts that don't support the argument. This tip helps bring out the important details in an article and shortening it for online reading. Continue cutting the article in half until you have a one to two line sentence that could be useful as the summary or synopsis.
Tip #1: Keep content concise.
Further evidence from the study offers the following stats based on the amount of time spent during a reading session:
92 percent read article text
82 percent read briefs
64 percent look at photos
45 percent glance at banner ads
22 percent view graphics
Readers didn't sequentially visit pages or Web sites. Instead, they opened a page and scanned it, opened more pages in separate windows and engaged in back and forth reading among open windows. Sounds like sites need to spout compelling text with minimal pictures to accommodate hyper eyes.
Jakob Nielsen and John Morkes found that 79 percent of their test users scanned the page and only 16 percent read the page word for word. People read 25 percent slower online than in print providing more support for concise and scannable text.
Tip #2: Make content scannable.