Have you considered the F pattern when writing online? | Communications No.4

A couple of weeks ago I shared some content from my colleague Abby who had attended a copy writing masterclass in June. Earlier this year I had gone on a similar course, but with a focus on digital; “Award in Digital Copywriting”.

One of the key takeaways, that I always share with people is the F Pattern. This refers to the way people read content on the web and via screens and devices; a lot different to a more traditional approach to reading from actual paper.

People tend to scan the content rather than actually reading it. These images demonstrate a test that was done to capture where people were looking whilst reading these pages:

Colours showing where people read on a screenColours showing where people read on a screenColours showing where people read on a screen

Each image demonstrating the F pattern, scanning across at the beginning and less and less as the article continues.

As people are so busy today, reading and engaging with content on mobile devices very quickly, how can you make sure people stay interested in what you’ve got to say?

10 ways you can write to aid scanning

1/ Break content up
2/ Go straight into the subject
3/ Short sentences: One thought, 10-30 words
4/ Short paragraphs: One idea, 1-3 sentences
5/ Use keywords and phrases where appropriate
6/ Embolden keywords
7/ Headings and sub-headings
8/ Bullet points: 2 – 10 items
9/ Numbered lists


  1. August 10, 2015 / 10:37 am

    People read approx 30% slower on screen than they do on paper too, so your content needs to be much shorter.

  2. August 10, 2015 / 10:37 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. August 10, 2015 / 10:38 am

    p.s., I removed a post because it was a duplicate of the original! ;o)

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