Thursday, 8 May 2008

How long do you want it?

[Back from hols. Yes, lovely thanks.] I don't talk a lot about writing on the web because - generally speaking - that's the comfort zone for our editorial folks - hence the focus on video and so on, but now there are some very interesting answers to that hoary old question: "How many words should a web article contain?"

Jakob Nielsen has done some analysis and found out some interesting things. Read it. But here are a few morsels:

On an average visit, users read half the information only on those pages with 111 words or less.

On average, users will have time to read 28% of the words if they devote all of their time to reading.

More realistically, users will read about 20% of the text on the average page.
Now, of course, none of this means very much but one might conclude that:
  • if you want people to read 55 words, type 111 of them.
  • if you want people to read more than 55 words, type at least 275 of them
  • or something
But I think what it really says is make sure you put the most important stuff at the top.

1 comment:

JD said...

I wonder how this compares to print?