The Web is a user-directed medium, where people adopt information-seeking strategies to save time. They tend not to seek information in a linear fashion. Instead, they rely on the visual cues that give off the strongest signal that their answer is nearby. People direct their attention to these areas and ignore everything else.
We aren't suggesting that people never read information on the Web. How much people actually read depends on their goals and the level of information they need. In general, people scan first to sniff out the main points and then, if necessary, comb the page for more details. People who need in-depth information (such as for research projects) still scan, but reading is more deliberate on content-targeted pages.
If people are able to quickly recognize cues that point them to the targeted information, they'll happily follow the trail. However, if they don't immediately see anything of significance or feel overwhelmed, they'll abandon that path (or page) and try something else. Sometimes this means going back and selecting something else from a previous page.
Burn your users too many times, however, and they leave the site altogether and may never return. Regardless of how inherently interesting or important you think your content is, if your site doesn't make it easy for visitors to quickly grasp your purpose, their excitement vaporizes right at the point where the payoff should be.
Write for the way people read on the Web. Design your content to match human behavior and tailor it for optimum scannability and comprehension
What does this mean for your Web site? Write for the way people read on the Web. In order to capture and hold their attention, design your content to match human behavior and tailor it for optimum scannability and comprehension.