Effective Writing for the Web (2): Web versus Print

Reading on the Web versus Reading in Print

You may feel that this point is obvious, and to many of you it will be, but I’m sure there are others who may not have considered the differences between reading online and reading paper-based materials.cover image

The basic difference is that you will be reading from a different physical object.

When you read print content on paper it might be books, magazines, newspapers or reports. You will normally read straight through from the front to the back (although there are exceptions to this).

When you read online you might be using a desktop computer, a laptop, a smartphone or a tablet. You will be moving from page to page, or screen to screen, often quite rapidly.

Another major difference is the amount of fatigue your eyes will suffer. Reading on paper is much less tiring for your eyes than reading on a screen, which is usually backlit.

Think about this when you’re writing and make sure that your words will translate into easy-to-read text on the screen. Your readers will thank you for it.

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