Reading on the Web

Reading on the Web is far more fluid than traditional paper-based reading. Aesthetics matter. People scan instead of read. Literacy levels dictate how people read. Their hardware affects what they see. Clearly, implications exist.


The size of a monitor affects reading. What appears on the screen initially tends to determine whether they will bother to scroll down or not. If the page loads slowly, or if the text is dense, the information isn't apparent and the visitor may leave.(back to top)


Layout and white space affects reading. Readers don't want to expend much effort to find what they're looking for. If there's too much text, your visitors may use the "find" option and just look for keywords that way. In essence, they'll bypass reading the rest. (back to top)


Web reading translates to scanning. Lengthy sentences and long paragraphs don't work. Use sub-headings to break text. Bullett information to highlight it. Keep paragraphs short and style informal. (back to top)

Literacy Levels

Still, most surfers are well educated and computer literate. Slowly that is changing with the introduction of sub-$800 PCs. More younger people (and older) are coming online. The number of commercial sites doubles each six months. The level of educational background changes. (back to top)


All of this has implications.