Study: iPad Readers Retain Less Than Newspaper Readers

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A new study from French internet company Miratech took a look at the reading patterns of newspaper readers versus iPad readers. Utilizing eye tracking technology and using subjects who already owned iPads, they were able to conclude that, for various reasons, newspaper readers were able to retain more of the information they read than iPad readers.

The study, however, isn’t without its flaws: There’s no sample size given, and I’m not sure of the cultural implications of non-English newspapers. But there is some interesting information we can draw out; namely, that reading times on both the iPad and newspaper were very similar: 1 minute 13 seconds on an iPad, and 1 minute 11 seconds on a traditional paper.

Here’s the eye-tracking video for the newspaper:


And for the iPad:


The study concludes, “It is easier to assimilate and retain information read in a newspaper than on an iPad,” but notice in the videos the higher degree of interaction the reader has with the iPad. I’d guess that the added layers of interfacing augment the experience in a different way, especially when you take a look at the eye movement patterns, which are noticeably slower on the iPad (even though the study concludes that more people are skimming the reader).

Read Write Web points to a similar eye tracking study Google conducted back in 2009, which concluded that users on the web read in an “F-shaped” pattern—they read the first two lines of a paragraph, then neglect the rest—but if that’s the case, you’re probably not reading this sentence, anyway.

(via Read Write Web)

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