Getting content in front of readers is challenging. The majority of content these days is filtered through newsfeeds and social media networks. And that means that a large percentage of readers are using mobile phones. Research conducted at the University of Alberta indicated that writing content for smaller screens is a whole new ball game. Your page has to be clean, easily digested and only focus on the essential content.
Low level writing
Tests showed that reading complicated content on a smaller screen is twice as difficult as when reading from a larger surface. A smaller screen size reduces the amount of content viewable. This does not enable readers to glance back at previous information as a quick reminder of what they had previously read.
When reading it is easy to drift of slightly and not remember what you have just read, especially with so many distraction in public places when most people are using their mobiles to catch up on feeds. Writers therefore need to basic language that is clear and concise. Short, sharp sentences are better digested and easily remembered. You should also include a quick round up of each point in one sentence.
Keep your writing tight
The ability to write bite-sized sentences is cutting words you don’t need. Read a sentence back to yourself and ask if there are any words you can remove without losing its meaning. For example, I want to explain to you that overwriting a sentence uses up valuable space and time mobile users do not have. You could rewrite the sentence removing unnecessary words, such as “to you” above. I want to explain that overwriting a sentence uses up valuable space and time mobile users don’t have.
But there is an even better approach. Rather than explain your reasons, just get to the point: “Overwriting a sentence uses up valuable space and time.”
Formatting your article involves keeping the page tidy and easy-on-the eye. You can do this by writing short paragraphs and using bullet points. Paragraphs should be short – two or three lines (in Word .doc) so that when is it down-sized on a smaller screen it does not appear like a great chunk of text. This puts people off reading. You should also space your article out with subheadings. This makes information easier to re-find should the reader wish to go back and read over a section again.
The length of content should also be considered, but this depends who your target audience is. You may have professional readers that are happy to read 2000-word essays on a mobile screen. But if you are a B2C company, short, informative articles are better for readers to check in and have something to take away with them for the day.
You may not have to change the type of content you post in order to accommodate mobile readers, but you do have to consider how you can provide a friendly user-experience for readers with small screens.