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What Readers Want: A Study of E-Fiction Usability (17 May 2005)
Also in line with EBONI's previous findings from e-textbooks, participants found it difficult and unpleasant to read long streams of text on screen. "Not the most inspiring format, and having to scroll down through the whole document instead of jumping to a particular chapter was annoying", one participant noted of the scrolling book, while another reported, "I disliked the feeling that there were no pages and the continuous format was very tiring". These comments illustrate the importance of dividing a book into short chapters, with short pages and clear paragraphs.

Readers gain a sense of their place in a printed book via the page numbers and by comparing the thickness and weight of the pages read against the thickness and weight of the pages still to be read. Participants complained that they did not have this option while reading the scrolling version of the book and one of them noted, "Too much preamble at beginning. Not able to see how far you have got, i.e. pages read and pages to go".

Participants also expected the background of the book to be in colour. As was discovered in EBONI, colour makes a book more appealing and engaging.
Article URL: http://www.dlib.org/dlib/may05/wilson/05wilson.html

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