At Business Insider’s Ignition 2013 Conference, the media companies in attendance said 50 percent of their core audience’s content consumption came through their mobile apps. That’s proof that people want easy-to-understand answers and solutions right at their fingertips. (The mobile Web isn’t for heavy reading. After all, when’s the last time you read Hamlet on your Smartphone?)
Even people who are reading on a traditional computer screen want to see content that’s easy to digest. Back in 2006, the Nielsen Norman Group did a groundbreaking study on how people read Web pages, and the results are still very relevant today. After tracking hundreds of readers’ eye movements, they found that people scan Web pages quickly, focusing on the top and left portions of the page the most. (That’s why so many successful Web writers break things down into lists and short paragraphs – because it fits in with this reading pattern.)
No matter what device people use to read your Web content in 2014, you’ve got to keep it concise and conversational. Take all of those fancy words you learned for the SATs and forget about them. Your readers want quick answers and solutions; they don’t want to marvel at your extensive vocabulary.