The American Educational Research Association released an interesting study which looked at the relationship between printed vs digital content and retention. The results of the study found that for content that goes over a certain length (in pages), consumption of digital content becomes less effective, when compared to printed content. Content that goes over a page in length was reported to reduce comprehension in readers who were surveyed. This could be attributed to scrolling. Scrolling is reported to cause a disturbance with the reader, that turns the attention of the brain away from concentrating on the task at hand, which is focusing on the content itself. You might be asking yourself what happens when a reader turns pages of printed material? Does the same disturbance occur when readers consume printed material? Well, yes, but the extent at which it occurs is a fraction compared to those who consume the same amount of content digitally.
In a nutshell, digital content is perfect for consumption in short bursts. People who seek content digitally are often looking for a quick read or content that they can view. It is no wonder that digital content is usually supported by visuals such as images, sound clips or videos.
Digital has undoubtedly revolutionised content creation and consumption, but what the above research tells us, is that when producing content that is of significant length, such as training manuals or books, content that requires the reader to remember in detail, it is advisable to use print vs digital. If you want your end user to not only engage with long pieces of content but to also remember it and put it into good use, contact Impress Printers and we will assist you with our full range of print products and solutions that can be tailored to your company needs.