Thursday, March 10, 2011

Small-sample study finds people read e-text slower than p-text; traditional books are more "relaxing"

This small sample study - involving only 24 participants - by Jakob Nielsen found that people read e-texts 10% slower than p-texts.  Participants in the study were asked to read a short story by Ernest Hemingway on an iPad, a Kindle, a PC and in hardcopy. They were each timed and then quizzed at the end to determine how much they understood. The survey found that "reading from a printed book—versus an e-book on any of the three tested devices—was a faster experience to a significant degree." Since almost all the participants got perfect scores on the quiz, the study doesn't draw any conclusions about which reading method better facilitates comprehension.

The study did find, however, that "[u]sers felt that reading the printed book was more relaxing than using electronic devices. And they felt uncomfortable with the PC because it reminded them of work." 

You can read the rest here.


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