Teague's Tech Treks - 10 Rep Learning

Learning Technology & Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague

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Reading on the Web~Is it really reading or scanning?

This post by Jakob Nielson, titled “How Little Do Users Read?” explains the distinction between reading (as done with books, papers, and magazines) and scanning (as done with webpages)

Nielson cites the empirical research of Harald Weinreich, Hartmut Obendorf, Eelco Herder, and Matthias Mayer in their paper,  “Not Quite the Average: An Empirical Study of Web Use,”

In his insightful summary, Nielson discusses the following points regarding web scanning:

  • 10,163 page views (17%) that lasted less than 4 seconds. In such brief “visits,” users clearly bounced right out without truly “using” the page.
  • 2,615 page views (4%) that lasted more than 10 minutes. In these cases, users almost certainly left the browser open while doing something else.
  • 1,558 page views (3%) with fewer than 20 words on them. Such pages are probably server errors or disrupted downloads.

Source:How Little Do Users Read?” by Jakob Nielson, May, 2008. From the Nielsen Norman Group Evidence-Based User Experience Research, Training, and Consulting. Retrieved from: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-little-do-users-read/

See also:

How Users Read on the Web by by Jakob Nielson, October, 1997. From the Nielsen Norman Group Evidence-Based User Experience Research, Training, and Consulting. Retrieved from: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-users-read-on-the-web/

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