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How Do People Read On Screen

Think about how you'd read a book or magazine. You'd start at the beginning and keep turning the pages wouldn't you?

Well, the way people read on the web is very different. You might begin at the top of a web page, but then have your attention caught by an interesting headline or a link, for example:

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People scan and select the information they want. They're goal and topic orientated too - they want to quickly do something or learn about something. A typical user will jump around a website, dipping into information he wants to read.

Help your users by:

Keep your content visual, using:

Blocks of text on screen are deadly - so don't make your readers work too hard. Visual content keeps your copy lean and gets the message across.

Edit, edit, edit - less is more

Use half as many words as you would for a piece of printed literature. Edit content by stripping it down to the key messages and reconstructing it using just those messages. Be harsh on repetition, waffle, redundant words and flabby text.

Fewer words are easier to read, understand and remember.

Always think:

The good news?

Writing for the web is about keeping it simple. Clear, concise language and fewer words will deliver your message quickly and efficiently.

By Carl Fearby on Wednesday, June 19th 2019
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