A trick I read in a Sun Microsystems article

79% of web readers scan pages instead of reading them word-for-word. How to increase the scannability of your blog’s posts? By bolding the key term of each paragraphs. This is an editing trick for web texts that I read in an article of Sun Microsystems.

It’s a really simple and evident thing to do when you think about it. So, I’ll start to apply the principle in my posts. The bold key words will be an addition to the new Technorati tags I added to each of my posts. Then my readers will be able to find where in the text these tags refer.

I wish that this new editing trick will be helpful to my readers. Personally I think that the text is really simpler to read. Now we know, in a second, what the post is about by reading the title, sub title and bold terms. Do you have the same feeling? Do you think that this is a good addition and will be helpful for you? Please leave me your feelings about it! The principle will be better with time because I’ll learn how to spot and bold the best terms.

So enjoy it and share your feelings about it!

Technoratie: [] [] [] [] []

5 thoughts on “Web texts editing: bold your key words term to increase the scannability of your articles

  1. I think your posts contents always been easy to comprehend because you use self explanatory titles, subtitles and appropriate formatting.
    This new trick will go in the same direction, so I think it’s a good idea, particularly for feeds.
    You say that bolding some key words in the text may augment readability. Ok. I’d like to add another consideration: an appropriate bold words choice can help you to define your own style.
    It’s not only bolding key words to help your readers to fastly discover what are the post focuses.
    The choice of words that are to be bold and words that aren’t could help readers to make up an idea of what is your point of view.

    An example:

    You may write:
    Steve Jobs has announced a new version of iPod, the famous mp3 player. “The new player will have a storage capacity of 160 GB, and will cost only 1,400 dollars”, said Jobs.

    Steve Jobs has announced a new version of iPod, the famous mp3 player. The new player will have a storage capacity of 160 GB, and will cost only 1,400 dollars”, said Jobs.

    There’s a great difference, uh? In the first example, a reader could think that you LOVE Apple products even if they are too expensive and sometimes uselessly featured. In the second one, he may think that you have a more critical point of view.

    An affectionate reader, day by day, could learn this style, and larn to distinguish serious from hironic posts, enthusiastic from critic posts, etc.
    This is a feature proper of written words.

    Thank you for this interesting source of reflection.

    Bye, Max

  2. Hello Max! Yeah, you are always right! This addition is really interesting. There is a distinction to do. But I think that this will develop with time and my moods 😉 Readers will now be able to put further the analysis of my texts, with or without bolded texts (ahhahahaha, the analysis of my text… 😉 Or I’ll now be able to subliminally influence the reasoning of my readers (for possible market purpose) re-hahahahah 😉 So, I’ll test it over time and if I have bad comments or didn’t see the utility, I’ll stop it. Thank for you addition Max, Salutations, Fred

  3. I just saw what you mean for my feeds. Yeah, the result is really interesting. In a second, we can see what the post is about. So, I just wish that your feed readers will bold them. But I don’t think that this is a real problem because all main feed readers take this type of editing in consideration. It’s in direct relation with what I have discussed in this post: http://radio.weblogs.com/0140770/2005/02/14.html#a88 It will help the reader to know what he’ll need to read and don’t in his feeds. Salutations, Fred

  4. Don’t worry, Fred, bold characters are viewable on all feed readers, even on mine. I’m using Bottom Feeder, and they works well.
    Testing the utility? Why? They’re good, end of the story.

    P.S. Hey Fred, that Sun Microsystems’ article is OK, but somewhere it remainds me about Jacob Nielsen’s “Web usability” book. A book I hate. Do you know it? Some of those tips are obsolete, in my opinion. Maybe I’ll write something. After all, polemics sells, don’t they?

  5. Hello Max!!
    Hhahahahah, it probably remember him because he is the author 😛
    I checked his website and and don’t like all his colums (in reality I only like this little article that appears on Sun). It’s like anything… you read it and you get and use what you like 😉
    There is his website: http://www.useit.com/
    (I don’t know why but my return carriage didn’t seem to work in this comment system…. is this a Maxthon problem? Only god know…)

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