The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains

by Tom Kenny (@tkenny)

Erping Zhu, had people read a passage of digital prose but varied the number of links appearing in it. She then gave the readers a multiple-choice quiz and had them write a summary of what they had read. She found that comprehension declined as the number of links increased—whether or not people clicked on them. After all, whenever a link appears, your brain has to at least make the choice not to click, which is itself distracting.

Interesting findings into adding links into passages of text. We all know that links are fundamental to the way the web works but linking too frequently will distract your users and make articles less engaging and more difficult to read. Something to consider, especially if you’re a blog writer.

Source: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/05/ff_nicholas_carr/

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by Tom Kenny

I’m a freelance web designer and front-end developer with 9 years of experience designing for the web. Follow me on Twitter here.