Source: UX Myth #1: People read on the web
I love the UX Myths blog; both as a user and as a User Experience Designer. There are pithy observations about our common behaviors as we interact with the internet, and all of it is supported with research – yay science! I’d like to feature a visual version of each of these excellent “UX Myths” to help promote it.
less than 20% of the text content is actually read on an average web page
Nielsen Study, via UX Myths
In my own work this is something I’m always conscious of during content planning and wireframing. Perhaps I don’t give text enough credit, as I design smaller and smaller areas for copywriting to live on web pages, but for the most part I believe that people honestly want to skim, look at pretty pictures, and get to the important information. This is reflected in my work for Mount Gay Rum. I designed their new site to have collapsed content sections and only display the headers. The headers and curated photography are enough to get branding (history, artisanal, sailing, etc.) across, but if you happen to be interested in one of the topics on the site (doubtful), you can click to read about it – otherwise, keep skimming! I operate on the assumption that people will skim, and I seek to facilitate that.
I’m doing that again with a global brand’s new site template that has to adapt to a variety of markets, some with a lot of content, and some with very little. In either case, these collapsed headers facilitate skimming so you can get to what you’re looking for faster.