Summary: Studies of how users keep reading the Web found that they just do not actually read: instead, they scan the text. A study of five writing that is different found that a sample Web site scored 58% higher in measured usability with regards to was written concisely, 47% higher as soon as the text was scannable, and 27% higher with regards to was printed in a target style as opposed to the promotional style found in the control condition and several current website pages. Combining these three changes into a site that is single was concise, scannable, and objective at exactly the same time led to 124% higher measured usability.
Unfortunately, this paper is written in a print writing style and is somewhat too academic in style. We realize this can be bad, but the paper was written since the traditional means of reporting on a research study. We now have a short summary that is more suited for online reading.
“Really good writing – you don’t see much of that on the internet,” said one of our test participants. And our general impression is the fact that most internet users would agree. Our studies claim that current Web writing often does not support users in achieving their definitive goal: to get useful information as quickly as you are able to.
We have been Web that is running usability since 1994 Nielsen 1994b, Nielsen and Sano 1994, Nielsen 1995. Our research reports have been just like most other Web usability work (e.g., Shum 1996, Spool et al. 1997) and possess mainly looked over site architecture, navigation, search, page design, layout, graphic elements and style, and icons. Even so, we have collected many user comments in regards to the content during this long group of studies. Indeed, we now have started to understand that content is king in the user’s mind: When asked for feedback on an internet page, users will comment on the quality and relevance associated with content to a much greater extent than they are going to touch upon navigational issues or even the page elements that we consider to be “user interface” (instead of simple information). Continue reading “Concise, SCANNABLE, and Objective: How to Write for the Web”