It’s not about length, it’s to do with layout!
The other day I was on Twitter, talking about the dreaded “too long; didn’t read” symptoms that many people have, I must confess that even I can get put off of reading an article if I can see what looks like millions of paragraphs in front of me.
This got me thinking, and I figured I would much rather read 10 small paper pieces of paper rather than a giant scroll of text, even if it was the same amount of text. This is because I simply only have to worry about a small amount of text at a time.
However even if the pages are separate I could still get put off reading a giant book, because I can still see the physical size of what I must read, which yet again is daunting but 100% psychological.
This got me thinking again (yes I can think twice in one day), I would be more than happy to read the book if I couldn’t see the physical size of it, and its content is probably going to be equal to what I read on the web everyday.
So how can this be applied to the web, well simple it’s not about limiting your content, because sometimes every word is crucial to what you are saying, it is a simple matter of layout.
Instead of pasting all your content in one long block of text, perhaps show a paragraph and have a next button which then shows the text, this is far less daunting and also gives an interactive layer to the content they are reading, on mobile devices you could even use swipe gestures to engage the users further with your content.
This made me realise that when developing a website, content should be one of the first steps to consider – especially before design, as its important to know how the content should be displayed to the users.
I have even created a little mockup to show what I’m talking about – which looks more appealing to you?