3

I'm working on a site where many of the pages are around 2,000 words. The site is an educational program that connects students to potential mentors. The owner feels that user engagement is low and would like to break the pages into 2 parts to avoid 'reader shock' at the long wall of text. I realize there are many many other factors that determine user engagement, and that developing the copy is probably higher on the list.

User engagement is measured in this case by direct contact via a form, email or phone call related to the content as well as tracking target pages that are linked to at the end of the content and overall time spent on the page itself. I'm not certain exactly why user engagement is tied to contact actions, except that perhaps it is assumed that an engaged user will want to make contact.

Does breaking long copy pages into 2 parts have any user experience benefits or drawbacks?

  • Maybe you can try lazy load ? But it can cause some lags when user scrolls down. – hanyuwei70 Aug 26 '15 at 17:41
  • I would suggest against this when on content pages themselves, because users will learn that long articles might be hidden, and would more than likely discourage reading content because they might be surprised that what appeared to be an only three paragraph article is actually a 20+ one. – Majo0od Aug 26 '15 at 17:50
  • I find it personally annoying to split articles into either two pages or showing only parts of it and clicking "read more." I find this to be a poor UX because I've already clicked in, and I want to read more, and yet you're making it more difficult for me. – Majo0od Aug 26 '15 at 17:51
  • Just keep that consideration into mind, the user flow and journey. – Majo0od Aug 26 '15 at 17:51
  • I agree, I don't like being forced to click for more, especially when on a content page as opposed to an index or list of summaries. The question remains, however the answer is perhaps NO! – AJD Aug 26 '15 at 18:02
1

In general, yes, it would benefit you to try break content into more manageable pieces. I recently attended a webinar on the business of blogging and the panelists all gravitated toward shorter blogs, though the reasons seemed to vary.

One panelist, a regular columnist for Inc. Magazine, found that keeping her blog between 350-500 words was optimal to maximize pageviews, increase engagement, and returning visits. Another panelist for a popular travel blog mentioned that breaking up the content into two separate pages has the added benefit of two separate headlines and the general impression of more content on your site. The jury is out on whether one way works better than another from an SEO perspective since algorithms are always changing, but it was also mentioned that linking between articles definitely helps your page rank should you decide to break up the content.

From a UX perspective, the web is increasingly moving toward video. Long-term, you may want to test using video in lieu of or in addition to these articles and use visuals to highlight your key points. I would imagine your young user base would gravitate more toward engaging videos, though some quick tests would be best to prove that.

| improve this answer | |
  • Interesting... our specific situation involves pagination as opposed to actually creating two connected articles. However you make a great point. We have been stuck thinking in terms of Page 1 and Page 2 of the same article instead of looking for ways to break it into Article 1 and Article 2. Or Article 1 and an accompanying video that covers the rest of the content. I think you are talking about shorter, but connected pages. Do you think there is any benefit to artificially inserting pagination? Specifically, adding page breaks into long - copy pages? – AJD Oct 27 '15 at 18:38
  • Artificially inserting pagination may be more aesthetic and reduce some eye strain at the cost of the latency behind an added click and a page load time for Page 2, but there doesn't seem to be evidence that doing so would significantly impact user engagement either way. If you are driving revenue from ads, there may be some rationale to offering Page 2. – vphilipnyc Oct 27 '15 at 18:54
0

Too much text blandly put in front of the user, does in a away make for an unpleasant experience. However, asking them to navigate to multiple page will not make them feel better either. Especially on mobile, one often comes across content split into way to many pages. There may be an underlying number game to get more visits on their different pages and /or advertisements, etc. However, this is beyond the scope of the question.

I could suggest an alternate solution for this one. If you have too much content on one page, you could perhaps use a floating context menu, having links to different parts on the page.

This way the user can straight away hop to his/her area or topic of interest. This is old school, but certainly helps on pages with a lot of content.

Hope this helps.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.