It’s weird to think that I am a different type of reader in some situations. Until being recently made aware of the differences between online and offline readers, I would have never noticed how my expectations change depending on the situation.
Websites: When I visit a website, I want it to be clear and well organized. I don’t want to have to search for whatever it is I’m looking for or have to read lengthy text. I need it to be there, whenever I want to view it in as short of form as possible.
Billboard: Normally, I notice billboards on the way back to school or going home. It’s a long drive so I don’t have anything else to really admire. I need the content to be big and bold. I don’t want to see any small text because chances are, I’m going to miss it or not care enough to read it.
Magazines: With magazines I always notice the headlines on the front cover. Then on the inside, I expect to be able to find those headlines easily. Or I just skim through the magazine looking at pictures or interesting headlines.
Retail Site: When I’m browsing through an online store, I expect it to be simple. I want to be able to add something to my cart and keep shopping. When it is time to checkout, I don’t want to go through a lengthy process of having to verify my account or create a new one. Let’s put in the credit card number and shipping address and be done with it.
Expectations, whether big and simple or small with contrast, still hold how we interpret or think of the copy. The designers have to think “user friendly” in order to accommodate for these expectations.