How People interact with Content
What Research tells us

Multiple fields of research

Research conducted in various areas during the last 30 years bring many interesting data, which we can benefit from for developing better websites.


Content interactions

  • How and what people read
  • How memory works
  • Our learning style...

Prior expertise, our personality, the way we use our mind to understand are part of the answer. Click Next to see why.

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1. How People Read

Most people scan web pages

Research conducted by Nielsen Norman Group shows that most people scan a web page rather than reading it, How People Read on the Web: The Eyetracking Evidence.

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2. What People Read

Meaningful keywords
and headings

Research conducted by Nielsen and Norman shows that carefully selected sub-headings and keywords, bullet lists when bringing sense are what people read first.

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3. How memory works?

Our interests trigger our memories

English psychologist Frederic Bartlett whote as soon as 1932: Memory "traces are interest-determined, interest-carried... They live with our interests and with them they change".

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4. Memory for pictures

Is it that superior?

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University showed that memory for pictures compared to words is not always better. In the context of a web page, the visual quality and relevance of an image/word appear would make the difference.

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5. Screen or Paper

Reading is physical

Research comparing screen to paper reveals that reading attitudes are changing. "Text is a tangible part of the physical world we inhabit". Web pages might recreate the physicality of reading on paper better PDF or eBooks.

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6. More visual learners?

Research says NO

2015 statistics from VARK (visual, aural, read/write, kinetics) database are moderate: preferred learning style is balanced between the 4 styles et results range from one mode only to multiple modes.

Shares appear on next views.

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7. Learner styles

learner styles share

The Distribution will appear on next view.

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8. Learning mode

Learning mode distribution

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9. How people learn

Who is the visitor

Commenting "How People Learn", the Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University highlights "Expert knowledge is organized to support understanding, not just recall". Who is the visitor, its prior knowledge are the answer.

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10. Multiple intelligence


In "Five minds for the future" (1984), psychologist Howard Gartner considers multiple intelligence or "minds" as he calls them a fundamental ability for understanding our world. True for the web ocean of information.

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You can download the presentation as a PDF file, which includes the links to all the sources. Happy learning!


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