Thursday, April 18, 2013

Which is easier to read- print, tablet or e-reader?

What difference does it make whether one media is easier to read than another? It can make a big difference if you want someone to read something long enough to see your advertisement. Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany recently did a study to see which print form, print, tablets, or e-readers, are easiest to read.

According to MediaPost, the study divided the research participants into two groups with one being between the ages of 21-34, and the other being 60+. While the groups read from print, tablets and e-readers, researchers were tracking eye movement and brain activity. This was done to determine how much neural power is needed to read the same text but in different formats.

Results showed that there wasn’t much variance between reading formats for the younger-skewing group. However, the older-skewing group did have some differences. This group, on average, read text on an iPad tablet three or four seconds faster than the other forms. Also, when reading the iPad, the same group showed lower level of brain activity. Meaning, it was easier to read than print and e-readers. Researchers reasoned this could be because of the tablet computers’ backlit screens, which can make text stand out more from the page.

Overall, how can advertisers use this to their advantage? It would be extreme to cut out all advertising in print and e-readers all together if the goal is to reach the older-skewing demographic. Instead, it would be recommended to maintain coverage in existing media and possibly expand into other media forms like the iPad.

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