Scanning Web Pages

People are scanning web pages in an F pattern.

Eye tracking studies show people read the first full paragraph of the page but their attention wanes as they continue down the page. It is therefore important to tell your readers what the article is about by putting the summary at the top of the page.

Scanning Web Pages
Reading and scanning behaviors when reading web pages

Attention span is short on the internet, we want to complete tasks fast. Breaking up large blocks of text as you go down the page with meaningful subheadings, bold or italics text and bullet lists makes the page scannable.

Below is an example of making my artist biography scannable.

Making An artist biography scannable

Kim studied fine art at The Alberta College of Art & Design and The University of Calgary from 1989 to 2002.  Her formal education is in Interior Design where she received her diploma from Mount Royal University in 1977.

Kim has been published in the New York Times in conjunction with a group show at the R & F Gallery in Kingston, N.Y. and the exhibition catalog from the Grassi Museum in Leipzig, Germany. She has also been reviewed in See Magazine, FFWD Magazine and The Gauntlet.

Major exhibitions include:

  • Pins & Needles at Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport CO, USA (2014)
  • Strong Appearance – experimental shoe design” at Grassi Museum in Germany (2013)
  • Pulse: Alberta Society of Artists at 80 Years at the Triangle Gallery of Visual Arts (2011)

Her work is in the collection of the Alberta Foundations for the Arts and the Grassi Museum.  And is privately and publicly collected throughout Canada, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands.

Kim Bruce, a native Calgarian, resides and works in the foothills of Alberta just outside the City of Calgary.

As you can see I provided a list to draw attention to major exhibitions. Keywords are bolded in the paragraphs as these are items that I want to stand out. For more ideas on content for your artists about page see Artist About Page Content.

Don’t do this:

Kim studied fine art at The Alberta College of Art & Design and The University of Calgary from 1989 to 2002. Her formal education is in Interior Design where she received her diploma from Mount Royal University in 1977. Kim, a native Calgarian, has been published in the New York Times in conjunction with a group show at the R & F Gallery in Kingston, N.Y. and the exhibition catalog from the Grassi Museum in Leipzig, Germany. She has also been reviewed in See Magazine, FFWD Magazine and The Gauntlet. Major exhibitions include: “Pins & Needles” at Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport CO, USA (2014), “Strong Appearance – experimental shoe design” at Grassi Museum in Germany (2013), “Pulse: Alberta Society of Artists at 80 Years” at the Triangle Gallery of Visual Arts (2011). Her work is in the collection of the Alberta Foundations for the Arts and is privately and publicly collected throughout Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands. Kim Bruce resides and works in the foothills of Alberta just outside the City of Calgary.

Get straight to the point

  • Studies also show that most people only read 20-28 percent of the content
  • Put your summary at the top, then the details
  • Use bold keyword and phrases
  • Use bullet lists, headings and subheadings
  • Try limiting each block of text to 5 lines maximum
  • Each paragraph should be about one idea
  • Use images to reinforce your text

By understanding how people read and scan web pages you’ll be able to increase the readability of and interaction with your content by applying these tips. See Web Page Writing Tips for more.

This is the second of 4 articles dedicated to writing good content. To read the others follow these links:
Web Page Writing Tips
Using Web Page Heading Titles and Headlines
Create meaningful hyperlinks

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