This Article Is Too Long

    November 13, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

To make a long story short, people naturally prefer short, easy-to-digest articles over long, comprehensive articles, but to get the best literary diet, readers often mix the two and so should you.

If you want to more about this, keep reading. If that’s all you wanted to know, then you’ve already clicked off to some other article.
TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read) isn’t just a trend, it’s a modern human mantra akin to TFDC (too fast, didn’t chase). Where possible, humans (and all animals, really) remain lazy to conserve energy.

And there being so much content out there, surfers are very selective about what articles in which to invest themselves. Hence the proclivities toward lists and bullet points. To be kind, you would say it’s a protective mechanism against information overload.

Usability expert Jakob Nielsen is much more in-depth about the topic, complete with charts and graphs, mathematical equations, and dietary metaphors. After careful cost/benefit ratio analysis, Nielsen concludes with this:

On the Web, you can offer both short and long treatments within a single hyperspace. Start with overviews and short, simplified pages. Then link to long, in-depth coverage on other pages.

With this approach, you can serve both types of users (or the same user in different stages of the buying process).

And I can serve you by shutting up now and letting you link over to Nielsen’s more complicated explanation.