I'm doing a mobile app, where the user may be facing 10 pages of only text (no visuals at all). The user doesn't have to read all the pages for using the App but we want to encourage it. I want to improve the experience by adding different attractions or breakpoints on these long text just to break the boring state of reading.

Breakpoints such as: - Small banners of interesting information on the item/App Usage he is reading. - Famous quotes

  1. Can you think of additional fun breakpoint to keep the engagement positive ?
  2. Do you have references to other apps which use the same concept?

in his book Seductive Interaction Design: Creating Playful, Fun, and Effective User Experiences Stephen points out adding "fun distractions" (p.109) as a way to keep the user engaged in a boring or long task such as filling a big registration. I aim, for this kind of "fun distrations"


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    It sounds like the opposite of keeping engagement. You want to provide text for people to read, but want to repeatedly distract them away from that text to look at some irrelevant quotes or banners? That just yanks them out of the experience, breaks their concentration and requires they re-tune themselves back into what they were reading when they finish reading the supplemental stuff. Also, have you actually tested out the app without any of these breaks to see if there is actually a problem? I feel you may have come up with a solution without actually having a problem in the first place.
    – JonW
    Oct 17, 2013 at 8:01
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    @jonW Thanks for your comment, The breakpoints should be minor and elicit some kind of positive breakpoint. please see my edited question
    – AsafBO
    Oct 17, 2013 at 8:16
  • Ah, fair point. I left it as a comment rather than an answer as I have nothing to back my subjective opinion up with. Your book link now shows I may be mistaken in my assumptions (good thing I only left as a comment not an answer!). Interested now to hear what sort of answers you actually get for this.
    – JonW
    Oct 17, 2013 at 8:33

2 Answers 2


Attratcting may easily get too close to distracting users. Make sure you don't pass this threshold.

What you can do, is:

  • adding visible and communicative headers of the text sections. These should show the value of the text within a section, so that user can decide if a section is worth reading or not. S/he will read it if you communicate value properly. S/he will skip to the next one, if there is no such value in the header.

  • trying to add some imagery to the sections but only if it shows the same value as the section header.

  • also, try to keep the sections as short as you can, and if you can not, try to split the text into more sections, balancing it until it is easy and fun to read.

  • begin with a little explanation, saying "this text is here to help you, you will gain more from the app if you read it" - focus on value of the application and how reading the text boosts it.

  • allow user to come back to this text (don't hide this option too much) - many times users skip the tutorial and then do not know how to use the app, so that they want to trigger it again.

  • Thank you @Dominik, your answer strays from my question since its addressing headers and imagery while the context is 10 pages of plain text (with one header - the name of the item). in addition, these "fun distractions" should come in the middle of reading the text.
    – AsafBO
    Oct 17, 2013 at 10:25
  • Why can't you split it into parts? Oct 17, 2013 at 10:38
  • Currently the text is spread on 10 pages. It is split by paging (its not in a scroll)
    – AsafBO
    Oct 17, 2013 at 12:20
  • Ok, I understand, but the text has its meaning and when you read it, some parts of it are about something specific. Why don't you split it based on the meaning of these parts, making sections? Oct 17, 2013 at 14:32

This might be harsh, but if you need 10 pages to explain an app you might reconsider your design. Is it possible to put part of this explanation into the app itself, using tooltips and empty page fillers?

Regarding long texts. If the text is boring, rewrite it to be more engaging. People read long books without images and quotes without any problems.

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