Increase understanding, memory, satisfaction …
When usability guru Jakob Nielsen wanted to measure the effects of scannable web copy, he studied a webpage about Nebraska.
One of the original passages said:
Not very skimmable.
So Nielsen rewrote the webpage, adding subheads, bold-faced text and bullets, among other scannable elements:
Skimmable webpage: 47% more usable.
Then Nielsen tested both pages for metrics including:
- Task time: the number of seconds it took users to find answers to questions like “On what date did Nebraska become a state?”
- Errors, or a percentage score based on the number of questions readers answered incorrectly
- Memory — a recall test asking such questions as “Please list any names of tourist attractions you remember from the site.”
- Subjective satisfaction, or how participants felt about the site’s quality, ease of use and likeability. This was measured by questions like “How frustrated did you feel while working on this site?”
The result: The skimmable rewrite was 47% more usable.
Nearly half again more usable just by adding some bullets and bold-face? That’s a pretty good ROI on scannable copy.
How can you help people read your message faster, understand it better, remember it longer and enjoy it more by making it more skimmable?
Lift Ideas Off the Screen
Web visitors read, on average, 20% of the words on the page. But which words — and how can you put your messages there?
If so, please join me at Reach Readers Online — our web-writing workshop on June 20.
In this mobile web-writing workshop, you’ll make sure even flippers and skimmers can get the gist of your message — without reading the paragraphs.
Save up to $100 with our group discounts.