Summary: Studies of how users keep reading the internet found they scan the text that they do not actually read: instead. A study of five different writing styles unearthed that a sample internet site scored 58% higher in measured usability when it was written concisely, 47% higher if the text was scannable, and 27% higher when it was written in an objective style instead of the promotional style used in the control condition and lots of current website pages. Combining these three changes into a single site that 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 however you like. We realize this might be bad, however the paper was written as the way that is traditional of on a research study. We now have a summary that is short is more designed for online reading.
“Really good writing – you do not see much of that on the internet,” said one of our test participants. And our general impression is that most internet users would agree. Our studies declare that current Web writing often does not support users in achieving their absolute goal: to get information that is useful quickly as possible.
We’ve been running Web usability studies since 1994 Nielsen 1994b, Nielsen and Sano 1994, Nielsen 1995. Our studies have been just like almost every other Web usability work (e.g., Shum 1996, Spool et al. 1997) and also have mainly looked over site architecture, navigation, search, page design, layout, graphic elements and style, and icons. Even so, we now have collected user that is many about the content with this long a number of studies. Indeed, we have started to realize that content is king in the user’s mind: When asked for feedback on a Web page, users will touch upon the standard and relevance of the content to a much greater extent that we consider to be “user interface” (as opposed to simple information) than they will comment on navigational issues or the page elements.Continue reading