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Are eReaders Effective Reading Tools?

Have you purchased an iPad or an eReader to be able to do your morning reading without flipping through a bulky newspaper? Well, a February study conducted at Miratech shows that readers are more likely to skim over articles on an iPad than in a newspaper. Is it because images look cooler on an iPad and the device gives off a digital “play with me” vibe? A study conducted, analyzed the differences between iPad and newspaper reading patterns. Miratech asked a representative sample of participants to read similar information from a printed newspaper first and then from an iPad version.

The researchers claimed that since the participants in the study were already iPad users, they avoided any bias with learning how to use an iPad. The participants were then allowed to freely manipulate both the paper and iPad versions while their eye gaze was monitored. After reading, the participants were measured upon how well they remembered the ads. While there was only a 2 second difference in average reading times, there was a significant difference of eyes lingering on the paper version (275ms) than on the digital version (231ms).

Although the study did not clarify, I assume that the participants didn’t read the same information (they said ‘similar’) on the iPad right after the newspaper, as they would not need to spend as much time re-reading the article (gaze their eyes upon the words) a second time around. If my assumption holds correct then this is a well founded study showing that 20% of users better remember an article when they read it on paper than digitally. So moms, steal those iPads back from your children! Check out the videos to see the participants’ gazing eyes.

Photo Courtesy of BenM
Photo Courtesy of petitesoeur23