Deprecated: Function set_magic_quotes_runtime() is deprecated in /home/writers/writingfortheweb.org/textpattern/lib/txplib_db.php on line 14

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/writers/writingfortheweb.org/textpattern/lib/txplib_db.php:14) in /home/writers/writingfortheweb.org/textpattern/lib/txplib_misc.php on line 1240
article: Writing for the web: The interactive environment increases our expectation of speed
Go to content Go to menu

The Internet is fast. Everyone who uses a computer expects it to respond as quickly as they are able to punch a key.

If you press the ‘R’ key on your keyboard you expect to see the letter ‘R’ display on the screen right away. If there was a delay, or a pause before the letter appeared on screen it would be jarring, or you would assume there was something wrong with your computer.

This expectation of speed comes through to content on the web. Readers expect content to appear quickly, and often expect to parse through information quickly.

Studies show that online readers jump from one section to another quickly, without pausing to carefully consider each word. The eye does not roll gracefully along from one word to the next in a sentence, but frantically jumps from one point to another, trying to collect meaning.

The frenetic process of reading is heightened in an online environment. Readers may jump sentences or hurdle entire paragraphs searching for the meaning of an article or page.

Take this into account with your writing and ensure techniques like chunking) to give as much meaning at to top of your content as possible.