The Science Of Making Digital Content Reader-friendly

The Science Of Making Digital Content Reader-friendly

How do you grab someone who is always on the run, constantly switching between social media platforms, and focused on quick wins? Vincent Garcia, technical trainer at Squiz Australia, shares with B&T three ways to make your digital content user and reader-friendly.

Vincent Garcia

Consumers are now more time-poor than ever. With an alleged attention span of eight seconds, the way we consume information and media has altered fundamentally.

The way we read books, magazines and newspapers has changed, and publishers are increasingly shifting their focus to the digital sphere as a result. However, with online information consumption on the rise, it’s important to understand that movements online need to involve a lot more than just shifting the content to a new medium.

The way that content is processed is different online and, as a result of the move to digital, so too has the way that they expect to engage with the content providers. It’s critical, therefore, to understand how these shifts impact the way that information is processed in order influence future decisions.

The trick for content creators is to capture the attention of the ever-busy reader, and then somehow maintain their engagement for as long as it takes to not only absorb the key messages, but engage with them in a way that drives action.

Follow the ‘F principle’

It’s no longer acceptable to only write and create content based on what looks most aesthetically pleasing or what feels right. Essentially, based on human nature and our natural inclination to now do and complete as much as possible within short periods of time, skim reading has evolved to a whole new level.

The ‘F principle’ acknowledges that most people now read online materials in an F-shape. This means content creators need to focus on putting their most critical content and messages to the top of a page, and make it easy for readers to consume the secondary messages by then skimming along the left-hand side. Strong starts to paragraphs, sub-heading and strategically placed graphics or imagery will all go a long way in getting a narrative across and absorbed effectively by the audience.

To write right is to write for yourself

There’s a very simple trick to putting yourself in your readers’ shoes – write for you – keeping vigilant on wording, length, complexity, as well as tone.

When content creators find themselves unsure of where to start or how to make a message compelling for a specific audience, the best way to kick off the process is to start writing what you’d like to read yourself, then take the time to reflect and refine the work from there.

Writing for yourself also means that the content will be fresher and more unique than if you began attempting to entertain or even imitate those around you. You’ll also generate a distinct voice that will be valuable for your brand in the long run.

Say goodbye to cluttered layouts

As well as abiding by the ‘F principle’, content creators should always consider how an audience will consume the message presented, and how that user experience will influence their interpretation of the article.

An example of this is by simplifying the content by spreading it out across the screen, and keeping in mind basic rules such as good paragraph structure.

Videos and GIFs can be unintentionally distracting, particularly when they begin playing before the user has clicked on it, or when they are embedded awkwardly within the web page. It may seem simple, but putting this small decision back in the hands of the reader will limit annoyance and increase overall engagement with the content.

There’s a science to making digital content reader-friendly. Luckily, that science doesn’t involve huge spends or complicated design principles.

By getting familiar with the ‘F principle,’ learning to empathise with your reader, and de-cluttering, digital content will enhance and optimise almost immediately. The result will be an engaged audience and attractive web space that keeps readers coming back for more.




Please login with linkedin to comment

Designworks Squiz Australia Vincent Garcia

Latest News

Slew Of New Promotions & Hires As Thrive Announces Melbourne Leadership Team
  • Marketing

Slew Of New Promotions & Hires As Thrive Announces Melbourne Leadership Team

Thrive PR Melbourne has kicked off the year with new appointments, promotions and a new leadership team, marking the delivery of a transformation strategy that’s seen the agency diversify and strengthen its corporate, consumer and integrated digital service offering in Victoria. Lead image:  (L-R) – Sophie Maguire, Melanie Campbell, Nathan McGregor, Zoe Raknes, Erika Rutledge, […]

Leos Appoints Clare Pickens As CEO
  • Advertising

Leos Appoints Clare Pickens As CEO

Reports of Pickens demanding new corner office with wingback chair greatly exaggerated, says Publicis PR team.

Russel Howcroft & Freddie Young Headline AdMission Podcast
  • Advertising

Russel Howcroft & Freddie Young Headline AdMission Podcast

Iconic Australian ad guru Russel Howcroft and industry up-and-comer Freddie Young from Good One Creative have today launched their experimental, no spin advertising podcast, AdMission, in partnership with 9Podcasts. AdMission tells the uncensored stories behind the world’s most talked about brands, ideas, campaigns, advertising news and industry screw ups, as well as offering sharp insight […]

CPR First Aid Study: Weight Loss & Healthy Eating Among Most Googled Personal Goals
  • Marketing

CPR First Aid Study: Weight Loss & Healthy Eating Among Most Googled Personal Goals

According to a new study from CPR First Aid has revealed that Aussies’ most Googled personal goal in the summer is losing weight, new research has found. Their next most researched summer objective is healthy eating, followed by drinking more water. This time of the year, Aussies want to stop snoring and quit smoking more […]

Twilio: Customer Data Platforms Are “Critical Foundation” For AI-Driven Customer Insights
  • Technology

Twilio: Customer Data Platforms Are “Critical Foundation” For AI-Driven Customer Insights

Businesses are integrating customer data platforms with AI and analytics to personalise customer experiences and drive business success, according to a new report from Twilio Segment. Lead image: Kathryn Murphy, SVP of product and design, Twilio. The fifth annual Customer Data Platform Report, which reflects the findings of anonymised usage data from Twilio Segment’s more […]

Word of Mouth Digital Welcomes Six New Brands To Its Growing Portfolio
  • Marketing

Word of Mouth Digital Welcomes Six New Brands To Its Growing Portfolio

Word of Mouth Digital, a Sydney-based full-service digital marketing agency, has announced the addition of six diverse brands to its expanding client portfolio. Lead image: Alex and Tash Williams These new partnerships span various sectors, including pet care, cognitive health, home construction, wellness, and retail, showcasing the agency’s commitment to fostering growth through strategic collaboration […]