I remember raising this question, in a meeting with new clients – “How will we factor in the natural tendency of visitors to this new website, to not read what we’ve written for them?”
Stunned, uncomfortable silence, for about five seconds.
Given that there are tendencies for people to treat screen-based reading differently, this was naturally, a question to be asked. I mean, instead of chewing and digesting the pages of books, we know that readers get antsy sitting in front of a monitor, and don’t want the added inconvenience of blurry or small type. So, mine was not a popular move to make, but it had to be said anyway.
Now, in my defense, I should probably also mention that the audience in that room were not the typical corporate audience; they were a organization dedicated to the funding of educational programs in public schools. So there’s always a chance that they misheard the intention behind my comment as either uninformed, or perhaps even, deeply cynical.
I can assess that view, now, especially, after I saw they went with a different firm. Still, I have no regrets for having voiced this. I am not cynical. I truly want you to read what I have to share. And I wouldn’t expect you to do the same thing in front of your computer screen that you would do, curled up in bed with a book. You don’t have to like me. You can always click away to something else. It’s my objective, to keep you here, reading.
So how do we deal with the objections presented back to us, from the end-users of our creations? Do we cast them aside all but the views which are popular with us? Is it nobody’s fault that a perfectly good essay on visual literacy examination test scores, might get left ignored and unread, when the browser window turned into a very long scroll on that page?
We’ve been looking more closely at the likelihood that something will get attention, when there’s something on elsewhere, always a bit shorter, and a bit louder. The question is…