The Problem - Designing A Readable Site
Do you ever get the feeling no one is reading the copy you have spent hours writing for your website? You're probably right: people don't read the vast majority of information they come across online. Persuading them to stick around is one of web designers' and copywriters' greatest challenges.
People fail to read web pages for all sorts of reasons.
Screens are difficult to read from. It takes about 25% longer to read an article from a screen than from a printed page, and this is likely to be the case for the foreseeable future. Because of this, if people can't find what they want quickly, they'll move on. They are also not as likely to sit and read a long article for fun as they are if they find it in a magazine.
There's a lot of competition. With hundreds or even thousands of competitors vying for your visitors' attention, web users are strongly aware of the fact that they can always go elsewhere. If your website is hard to read or not forthcoming with the information they want, they know they can get what they're looking for elsewhere at the click of a button.
The internet bombards its users with information. When we are online, not only does browsing the web throw up vast quantities of information, but we are also subject to emails, voice-over-IP and instant messaging networks and RSS alerts, as well as our ordinary telephones.
People like to interact with websites. A good website has lots of interlinking and links to external sources, and people are likely to click them.
There's not a lot you can do about most of these problems. You simply have to make sure that your website is as conducive to a good read as it can possibly be.