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Savvy Web Users Target Information May 25, 2008

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in News.
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Since the turn of the millennium, we’ve known Web users are an impatient lot in the attention economy. In new media writing courses, students learn how to write succinctly and chunk text for scanning.

Research has shown that highly literate Web users scan text and studies tracking reader eye movements validate this. Now there’s a mathematical formula to quantify how much or how little people read online.

A study on high-end Web users found that clicking hypertext links remains the most-used feature on the Web followed by clicking buttons on the page. Clicking the “Back” button is the third most-used feature.

The reason for this change is the increased prevalence of applications and feature-rich Web pages that require users to click page buttons to access their functionality.

Savvy users know exactly what they want when navigating the Web’s interactive environment. They resist flashing promotions, ads or other editorial choices that try to entice them. They are using search engines better to beat the distractions.

In fact, Web sites that pepper their pages with cute widgets and fancy applications that take ages to load could lose users impatient to get to their information. I am one of them.

Read the full study, “Not Quite the Average: An Empirical Study of Web Use.”

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