I’m currently reading a book by Nicholas Carr called The Shallows. The book examines how the Internet is changing the we way we read, think and remember. In summary: it’s changing all of those things…and not for the better!
One chapter looks at a study concerning the design of web pages and how people consume information within a web page compared to that of a book.
The vast majority of study participants skimmed the text within web pages text quickly skimming (therefore ignoring) large swathes of the text. This problem is exacerbated with there’s LOTS of text on a page.
Our brains and our reading habits are adapting to the infinite amount of information being presented to us online. There’s so much stuff out there that if we’re presented with a lot of text on a web page, our brain will want to skim reading because there’s more stuff to do online after we’ve finished.
The takeaway from this is that web pages wouldn’t seem to be the best place to put a LOT of text. You shouldn’t therefore put massive amounts of text on your website or your blog posts.
By being as brief as possible you are more than likely to get your message across (handy for a webiste such as mine!). If there’s a lot of information you want to impart to your audience you might be better to stick that in a video perhaps or a podcast where the information is presented in a linear fashion and might be absorbed better.
Got any questions about this post or how you can better market yourself?