People were either intimately involved with the iPad screen while reading during Poynter’s recent eyetracking study — keeping nearly constant contact while touching, tapping, pinching and swiping to adjust their view — or they carefully arranged a full screen of text before physically detaching as they sat back to read.
This intimate or detached touching behavior was one of the most intriguing findings in Poynter’s new research on tablet storytelling. It’s one of many that can help us define how people want their news.
“Intimate” readers were highly focused. They tended to read one or two lines of text, then make subtle, frequent swipes to move a few lines of text into their field of vision like a teleprompter. This was like a pacing tool that helped them to keep their place in the text. Intimate readers made up a majority of the study, at 61 per cent.