Screen size is important

Jakob Nielsen has something new to say about mobile devices. He’s written in the past on the problems of reading on mobile devices, and in today’s newsletter he expands on new research.

His article is worth reading in entirety, so I’ll just summarize it here.

Someone did a study that compared how well participants understood the privacy policies of 10 popular websites: eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Myspace, Orkut, Wikipedia, WindowsLive, Yahoo!, and YouTube. The testees were split between a group that read on a desktop size screen and a group that read on an iPhone size screen. The 2 groups were tested to see how well they comprehended the privacy policies. The second group did significantly worse.

  • Desktop screen: 39.18% comprehension score
  • Mobile screen: 18.93% comprehension score

Even when websites offer a mobile version, the content will be harder to understand simply because the screen is too small. Interesting, isn’t it? All of a sudden I’m glad I don’t have a smartphone. It looks like I’m better off without it.

image via Flickr

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

1 Comment

  1. Sweetpea28 February, 2011

    Often, when I read on my desktop, I have to read a it a few times before I even understand what’s about. Long posts I often don’t even read. However, on my 3.4″ PDA screen I can read perfectly without losing anything of the story (at least, not less than reading a normal-sized book). It might have something to do with the way you read, straight up in your officer chair, or lounging on a chair or couch or even bed…


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