Keeping your readers focused

Research shows that the Internet has diminished readers’ attention spans. Make it easier for your readers to grasp your point by adhering to these tips.

Ragan Insider Content

Though many disagree with Carr, the research he cites in his book has important implications for content creation. Among the findings:

• The more links there are in an article, the lower the comprehension of the reader. This may be because readers devote more of their attention to evaluating links and deciding whether to click them. • Readers of hypertext click through pages rather than reading them carefully. Worse, readers of hypertext could not remember what they had read or not read. • People watching a CNN news story retained far more information without the headlines scrolling at the bottom of the screen. • Users click instead of reading and finding answers. Study participants who searched for answers to questions in print did better than those searching for answers on Web pages.

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