Let’s get this out of the way – people do not read on the web! Rather, they skim.
People generally only read something if you’ve casted out the net and reeled them in with your quick-to-skim content. Think about it – you’re presented with two different options. A massive article containing multiple paragraphs worth of detailed information, or a short summary of bullet points.
What do you think will be read?
When people surf the web, they’re generally in a quick hurry to find something. They will completely skip what’s irrelevant (sometimes this includes entire contents of a website, since they’re looking for something absolutely specific) to find what’s relevant to them.
Don’t expect people to read content that’s either irrelevant, long (paragraphs), small-talk, anything like that.
Whenever I design anything on the web, I make sure it’s extremely quick and to the point. Nothing drawn out, as people have zero time for it. They go onto a site, find what they want, and they’re out. Bam. Just like that.
The only time people actually read word for word are:
- If people find the exact piece of information they are interested in (for example, specifications for a certain product), then they will take the time to research and read thoroughly
- If people read said content for pleasure, research shows that they’re more likely to read it through
- Studies have shown that there are a small percentage of methodical readers, whom read all content from top to bottom
- Well designed layouts that are structured for people to read more thoroughly