Is Interaction Cost Costing You Readers?

You work hard on your web content. How can you help your message reach the largest possible audience? One way you can help reach more people is to lower the interaction cost of your content.

Interaction cost refers to the amount of effort it takes a visitor to find the information they need. For example, do they need to scroll or zoom, or click to open accordions or links? Users have a limited attention budget. The fewer steps they must take to access information, the more likely they are to stay on your site and absorb your content.

Keep Content Concise

One way you can lower the interaction cost of your webpages is to make your content easy to scan, so users don’t need to read lengthy blocks of text to determine if it’s relevant to them. Focus on creating short chunks of content with informative headers, and use bulleted lists when possible.

Reduce Steps

Think before asking visitors to take steps that take them out of the context of your website, such as opening a PDF or Word document. The user must expend additional mental effort to navigate within the different format. The interaction cost can be even higher if your user is on a mobile device. For example, mobile users must repeatedly zoom and scroll to view a PDF.

In most cases, we recommend including the content from PDFs or other files on webpages instead. This keeps users within the familiar navigational structure of your website and lowers the amount of effort asked of them.

Use Informative Link Language

Be careful with the language you use for buttons and links. Avoid using vague phrases such as “learn more.” People often quickly scan the links on a page to find a direct route to desired information. If a link is labelled in a vague or inaccurate manner, the user may become frustrated and leave the site.

Contact Us

Please contact us at if you have any questions about your content. We’re here to help find solutions that work for you and your audience.

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