Friday, January 26, 2007

People Don’t Read

Studies on how people read on the Web conclude that people ‘don’t read’ on the web.

They scan.

Only 16 per cent of web-users read a document word for word.
The percentage of people who ‘read’ emails on the web is even lower. The average time people use to read the email newsletter is only 51 seconds

Why Don’t People Read?

For one, reading on the computer screen is tiring to the eyes.
Also, the web, being a ‘user-driven medium’, attracts people who are constantly on the go. They just want to grab what they could and move on.

And don’t forget: there are hundreds of other information on the web competing for attention. It’s only a click away.

Since people scan, it’s only wise that we create scannable texts.
What Are Scannable Texts?
These are texts with:
- only one idea per paragraph
- sub-heading for each topic—not just cute or clever headings but ‘meaningful’ and immediately-clear ones
- highlighted key words
- bulleted listings rather than huge chunks of paragraphs
- less words than conventional writing.

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About Me

In the Old Testament in the Bible, there was a man named Jacob who "wrestled with God and man." He wouldn't let God go until God answered his prayers. God admired that and renamed him Israel, "the one who fought or wrestled and prevailed". He fought with man--his inner man--and conquered his own weaknesses. He's my hero. He is what I hope God and man see me to be.