Future of Digital Content

How to design your content for scanning and not reading : 5 powerful ideas for effective story telling.

As attention span of people keep decreasing over the years, how can we communicate content through effective content strategy?

  1. The experience of reading content on the digital space is not pleasing enough to hook the reader without distractions.

5 powerful ideas that can engage the reader

1 Info-graphics: Nowadays data visualizations and info graphics play the role of conveying information that may require more than three paragraphs. Through a fun simple diagram that conveys the same information with engaging graphics.

An example of Infographic
A data visualization using tableu

Time spent reading newspapers worldwide falls over 25% in four years

Photograph: Michael Kappeler/Michael Kappeler/DPA/Corbis; source : https://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/jun/01/global-newspaper-readership-zenithoptimedia-media-consumption

“There is physicality in reading”

It was interesting to note that people approached computers with a state of mind less inclined to learning as opposed to how they approached a paper. Hence composing too many ideas in a paragraph can overwhelm the reader and result in skimming or worse skipping the content.

Skimming is the default way of consuming content on web.

This behavior of skimming could be a result of the “Paradox of choice”.The choice of content available on the web related to a specific article is in abundance. This results in the reader opening multiple tabs and cross referencing between articles in order to hunt for the insight or the answer the reader is looking for.

source : F shaped pattern of reading; Nielsen Norman group
Information |Description=From a study of speed reading made by Humanistlaboratoriet, Lund University, in 2005. Data are recorded using an SMI iView X 240 Hz video-based pupil-corneal reflex eye tracker.

Importance of type to enhance our reading experience

500 yrs ago, Leonardo Da vinci discovered that lenses of our eyes can see only a small section from our field of vision with total acuity. Everything beyond this range appears to be blurred. Hence the closer we approach the content the narrower the part we can focus.

A diagram demonstrating the acuity of foveal vision in reading

Type legibility is not just design but it is science.

For many decades psychologists, typographers and physiologists have conducted research on the optical , physical and psychological aspects of reading. Research claims that classic serif types are the best choice for the body text.

Conclusion

If readers on the web want to skim. then as designers we should ensure that skimming is a means of purposeful scanning through the content to retrieve what the reader is looking for. Skimming should not be a random pursuit to scroll across text.

Service Designer. Enthusiast about AR/VR and Design systems. You can see my other works at http://junezaniyazi.com/