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Straub Read Smart Findings Plus Example Text

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Findings from an A|B comparison showing that users reading text formatted with ReadSmart remember more and are more likely to forward what they read. …

Findings from an A|B comparison showing that users reading text formatted with ReadSmart remember more and are more likely to forward what they read.

380 Participants read either a RS formatted or default formatted of the (same) newsletter. Those who read the formatted copy did better on comprehension questions (better on 7 out of 7 questions). In addition, they were 10% more likely to say that they would forward the newsletter onto a friend. (29% unformatted vs 34% formatted).

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  • 1. 

 (Space)
Size
matters…

 Varying
space
sizes
increases
memorability
and
likelihood
to
take
action
for
newsletter
copy
 Kath
Straub,
PhD,
Chief
Scientist
 
 Last
month,
HFI’s
User
Interface
Update
newsletter
was
an
experiment.
Did
you
figure
that
out?
At
the
 end
of
the
newsletter
there
was
an
invitation
to
participate
in
a
survey.
The
survey
had
a
mix
of
questions.
 We
asked
how
you
felt
about
the
PDF
format.
You
suggested
topics
you
would
like
to
read
about.

And
 then
we
asked
about
the
content
of
the
newsletter—to
see
how
much
you
remembered
from
what
you
 read.
 If
you
think
back,

the
article
was
broadly
about
the
usability
of
Kindle2.
But
the
research
review
focused
 on
how
Kindle
would
be
even
better
if
it
automatically
improved
readability
by
applying
a
text
formatting
 algorithm,
like
ReadSmart.

And
we
reviewed
the
evidence
that
the
ReadSmart
algorithm
enhances
 readability,
retention
and
reader
satisfaction.
But
old
habits
die
hard.
And,
like
any
good
skeptic,
I
also
 wanted
to
test
Bever’s
claims.
 So,
last
month’s
newsletter
was
actually
an
A|B
test:
Half
of
you
received
a
“regular”
copy
of
the
 newsletter.
The
other
half
received
a
ReadSmart
copy.

The
survey
explored
2
primary
questions:
 1. Do
readers
who
were
exposed
to
the
ReadSmart
copy
remember
more
and
remember
more
 accurately
than
those
who
received
the
“regular,”
unformatted
text?

 2. Are
individuals
who
read
the
ReadSmarted
copy
be
more
likely
to
take
action
than
those
who
 read
the
“regular”
version?

 The
answers
are
yes
and
yes.
 The
details
 Two
versions
of
the
newsletter
were
distributed
through
the
normal
email,
twitter
and
download
 channels.

 1.
Regular/Control:
The
visually
treated
newsletter
was
printed
directly
to
a
PDF
format
from
Quark
with
 standard
spacing
between
words
and
letters.
 2.
ReadSmart:
The
visually
treated
Quark
document
was
submitted
to
ReadSmart
to
apply
the
text
 formatting
algorithm.
The
algorithm
applied
psychologically
tested,
linguistic
rules
to
 • vary
the
size
of
spaces
between
letters
and
between
words
 • determine
optimal
line
endings.

 ReadSmart
returned
the
PDF
document
that
was
distributed.
Unless
you
know
what
to
look
for,
its
 difficult
to
tell
which
document
is
which:

  • 2. 
 Download
and
compare
the
complete
documents:
Standard
Format
versus
Formatted
with
Readsmart
 The
two
formats
were
distributed
randomly.
Half
of
subscribers
received

ReadSmarted
formatting.
The
 second
half
received
the
regular
formatting.
To
ensure
that
the
text
formatting
rendered
as
intended,
the
 document
was
sent
as
a
PDF
file.
Each
newsletter
included
a
link
inviting
readers
to
participate
in
a
brief
 survey
in
exchange
for
the
chance
to
win
an
iPOD
shuffle.
Although
it
was
not
obvious,
the
links
were
 coded
so
that
participants’
survey
responses
could
be
indexed
to
the
format
they
received(Readsmart
vs.
 Standard).

 Analysis
was
completed
for
the
380
individuals
who
responded
to
all
the
questions
on
the
survey.
 (Individuals
who
submitted
partial
responses
were
also
entered
in
the
ipod
drawing).
 Overall
the
analysis
demonstrated
that
individuals
who
read
the
ReadSmart
version
and
completed
the
 survey
understood
the
content
better,
and
were
more
likely
to
take
action
with
it.

 Specifically,
individuals
who
read
a
ReadSmarted
newsletter
remember
the
details
of
the
article
more
 accurately
than
those
who
read
the
“regular,”
unformatted
text.
 ReadSmart
readers
chose
correct
answers,
or
failed
to
choose
incorrect
choices
more
often
in
100%
of
the
 questions.

P<.0005
(sign
test,
two
tailed).


The
improved
comprehension
of
ReadSmart
readers
reflected
 a
combination
of
more
correct
choices
of
correct
answers
(p<.03)
and
fewer
incorrect
choices
of
incorrect
 answers
(p<.02).
 Perhaps
more
importantly,
individuals
who
read
the
ReadSmarted
text
reported
that
they
were
more
 likely
to
take
action
on
it.

33%
of
readers
of
the
ReadSmart
version
said
they
would
definitely
or
 probably
forward
the
story
to
someone
else;
29%
of
readers
of
the
normal
format
said
this.
In
terms
of
 click‐throughs,
difference
reflects
a
+10%
likelihood
to
forward
the
piece
on
to
a
friend
or
colleague.
 Couple
this
with
the
PET
understanding
that
information
that
originates
from
trusted
sources
has
greater
 credibility
and
influence.
I
think
we
have
something
to
write
home
about.
Text
formatting
with
ReadSmart
 improves
readability
and
actionability.
You
demonstrated
it.
 
 Author
contact
points
 email:
kath.straub@gmail.com
 twitter:
kas
 linkedIN:
Kath
Straub
 
 For
more
information
on
what
ReadSmart
does
or
how
it
works,
contact:
 Tom
Bever

tgb@readsmart.com
 www.readsmart.com

  • 3. Kindle2: Crack for readers... until you start reading How text formatting can ruin (or enhance) the readability and persuasiveness of text Kath Straub, PhD, CUA / Chief Scientist Human Factors International, Inc. February / March, 2009 Newsletter Human Factors International
  • 4. Kindle2: Crack for readers... until you start reading May you live Maybe it was the early adopter thing. Curiosity about new gadgets. Wanting to touch. To play. To decide if that new little thing will be the next big thing. in interesting times Maybe it was the road-warrior reader thing: I travel a lot. And I read a lot. Which book should I take? Maybe it was the attention deficit thing. Reading one book at a time gets... boring. And all those books get heavy. However you explain it, I own a Kindle2. It’s been an interesting ride. I’m ready to get off the bike. You say red herring, To be sure, part of the fun of Kindle is that Amazon had to balance a lot of design options. For instance, they tried to create an unpacking-the-product- I say red herrings should-be-emotional experience. For an Apple native, that was a bit weird. Somehow, the pull-off paper zipper (think FedEX envelopes) sets the wrong tone. But, they tried. Out of the box, my first impression was positive. It’s smaller than I thought. The text resolution is better than I had hoped. But then, there is no backlight. That means the battery lasts a really long time. But it also means that the screen is surprisingly grey and the text contrast is low. And you still need a night light to read. The keyboard lets you annotate while you read. But it’s awkward. Big. That choice seemed odd since the bigger keyboard meant a smaller reading screen. We are all trained to type on phone-sized keyboards by now, aren’t we? Navigating isn’t bad. The fact that the Menu button takes you to Shop At the Kindle Store is irritating. Even if I understand why it’s so. The joystick offers a few surprises, like you can’t turn pages with it. Newsletter February / March 2009 2
  • 5. Kindle2: Crack for readers... until you start reading But these problems are red herring(s). Kindle isn’t really about unpacking and navigating. It’s about reading. Unfortunately, the reading part is where Amazon goes wrong. Step away It was a small detail in the Kindle ad that tipped my decision to try it. Unless you’ve spent years thinking about the psychology of reading, you from the edge probably won’t notice it. The text on the right side of the “page” is not right-justified. It has a ragged- right edge. And that, for me, was tantalizing. In justified text, the size of spaces between words is varied to make the lines come out even (like in this paragraph). The size of the spaces is irregular but not meaningful. The goal is just to make the lines come out even. But your brain registers that the spaces are different sizes. And it tries to sort out what that information conveys. Trying to interpret signals that are just noise slows you down and makes reading feel more effortful. Just because you can, It may seem counter-intuitive that a small detail like where lines end would make text easier to read. If it’s true, why do publishers of books, journals, doesn’t mean magazines and newspapers right-justify everything? It’s a question that you should a lot of us who think about reading think about, a lot. Newsletter February / March 2009 3
  • 6. Kindle2: Crack for readers... until you start reading Our most charitable guess is that publishers think that justified text looks better. It does. If you like rectangles. But the research shows that people read ragged-right copy faster than right- justified copy (Hartley & Burnhill, 1971; Jandreau & Bever, 1992). So, to justify or not to justify depends on whether the goal is a prettier page or an easier read. I vote for easier to read. And that is why I was enticed by the raggedy edged Kindle ad. And the first publication I opened (the New Yorker) lived up to the promise: Hertzberg, in ragged right. With the cartoons thoughtfully aggregated into one section. Joy. But the second one I opened (Nudge; Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness), and the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth (White Tiger, a novel; I was told there’d be cake, essays; Technology Review; and the Wall Street Journal, respectively) all have right-justified text. Gain the buyer’s trust. Violate the buy- er’s trust. To be fair, it may not be Amazon that is making the choice. But they could. And if any single group can make reading better, it is Amazon. Well, maybe Amazon and ReadSmart. One stop Actually, there’s more to enhancing readability than where lines end. Remember how the random size of spaces between words in right-justified text past the end undermines reading? The reverse is also true. Bever and colleagues, linguists of the line... and psychologists at the University of Arizona, have shown that when line endings and space sizes offer clues to how words should be grouped, reading is faster and feels easier (Bever, Jandreau, Burwell, Kaplan & Zaenan, 1990; Jandreau & Bever, 1992; among many others.) To show this, Bever and team engineered (and patented) a text processing / formatting algorithm (which they call ReadSmart) that “reads” text input and adjusts inter- and intra-word spacing based on psychologically tested, linguistic rules. The new, meaningful spaces guide readers’ eyes and help them to group the words correctly even as they read. “ReadSmarted” text is easier to read Newsletter February / March 2009 4
  • 7. Kindle2: Crack for readers... until you start reading because part of work of reading is already done for you. But unlike other text formatting algorithms, ReadSmart improves readability without changing the length of the text or the way that it looks on the surface. Bever’s early studies of linguistic formatting (including more than 500 students in the U.S. and abroad) showed that when the spaces between / within words predict the structure, comprehension and reading speed increase up to 20%. Similar comprehension improvements have been documented for readers under duress and second- language readers. It’s much more More recent industry studies suggest that improving readability and comprehen- sion may also increase persuasiveness. The scenario supposedly goes something persuasive if I read it like this: 1. A potential donor receives solicitation letters. If they like the cause, they may open the letter. 2. If they open them, they tend to skim, for about as long as it takes to get from the front door / mail box to the kitchen / trash can. 3. Since Readsmarted text reads faster and more easily, potential donors get further into the message to the emotional hook that removes the block or amplifies their drive toward commitment. 4. Along the way, since the cognitive burden of “reading” is reduced by ReadSmarting text, readers can commit more mental energy to processing and remembering the message. Remembered messages are more persuasive. Even if the scenario is not exactly right, the effect of formatting text to improve readability is profound. Direct mail donor acquisition letters that are formatted by ReadSmart work better. In a meta-analysis of 5 direct marketing campaigns reaching 393,000 households (over multiple charities), the formatted letters triggered 22% more responses than donor letters with standard text. And, people who responded to a formatted solicitation ultimately donated more (48% more on average)1. 1 To be sure, the scale of the behavior change resulting from ReadSmarting text makes it feel a bit like a but-wait!-there’s more! paid-for-TV commercial. I’d be far more skep- tical, if I didn’t have direct knowledge of the psycholinguistic research behind text-format- ting generally and ReadSmart specifically. (Fair balance: Bever was my thesis advisor.) Newsletter February / March 2009 5
  • 8. Kindle2: Crack for readers... until you start reading More than Ultimately, linguistically-informed text formatting algorithms like ReadSmart make text more persuasive by reducing the mental burden of reading. Readers meets the eye understand better with less effort. By extension, organizations and agencies that apply these algorithms can benefit as well. And that promise makes ReadSmart tantalizing. Sort of like the Kindle2 was. And could be again. If Amazon made “ReadSmart my book” the default menu item. Until then, I’m going back to paperbacks. [The ReadSmart text formatting algorithm improves readability on paper, in fixed-width websites, and on mobile phones. To learn more go to www.readsmart.com.] It’s not just small talk! Help us make the newsletter more relevant to you... and win an iPod shuffle... that talks to you! Please take 4 quick minutes to answer our 10 question survey about the news- letter. Tell us what you like/don’t like about the newsletter. Which topics would you like to read about? And, if you give us contact information, you will automatically be entered into our shuffle drawing. www.surveygizmo.com/s/114074/newsletter-march09 The iPod shuffle drawing will be held on Friday, April 3, 2009. The Pragmatic We know that if users can’t find it, they can’t be persuaded by it. But this goes a bit beyond. It shows that if the user must work hard to get to content (even Ergonomist, in a small detail like text quality) it can make a material impact on persuasion. Dr. Eric Schaffer Usability is no longer enough, but it is absolutely needed. Newsletter February / March 2009 6
  • 9. Kindle2: Crack for readers... until you start reading References Anglin, J. M., & Miller, G. A. (1968). The role of phrase structure in the recall of meaningful verbal material. Psychonomic Science, 10, 343–344. Bever, T. G., & Robbart, J. (2008). System and method of determining phrasing in text. U.S. Patent No. 7,346,489. Washington, DC: U. S. Patent and Trademark Office. Bever, T. G., & Robbart, J. (2008). System and method for formatting text according to phrasing. Patent pending. Washington, DC: U. S. Patent and Trademark Office. Bever, T. G., & Robbart, J. (2006). System and method for formatting text according to linguistic, visual and psychological variables. U.S. Patent No. 7,069,508. Washington, DC: U. S. Patent and Trademark Office. Bever, T. G., Nicholas, C. D., Hancock, R., Alcock, K. W., & Jandreau, S. M. (2007). System, plug-in and method for improving text composition by modify- ing character prominence according to assigned character information mea- sures. Patent pending. Washington, DC: U. S. Patent and Trademark Office. Bever, T. G., Jandreau, S., Burwell, R. , Kaplan, R., & Zaenan, A. (1990). Spacing printed text to isolate major phrases improves readability. Visible Language, 25, 74–87. Coleman, E. B., & Kim, I. (1961). Comparison of several styles of typography in English. Journal of Applied Psychology, 45, 262–267. Hartley, J. (1980). Spatial cues in text. Visible Language, 14, 67–79. Hartley, J., & Burnhill, P. (1971). Experiments with unjustified text. Visible Language, 5, 265–278. Jandreau, S., & Bever, T. G. (1992). Phrase-spaced formats improve comprehen- sion in average readers. Journal of Applied Psychology, 77, 143–146. Nicholas, C. D., Maher, J. Ashley, K. L., Berendt, L. H. (2009). System and meth- od for converting the digital typesetting documents used in publishing to a device-specific format for electronic publishing. Patent pending. Washington, DC: U. S. Patent and Trademark Office. Newsletter February / March 2009 7
  • 10. Kindle2: Crack for readers... until you start reading Klare, G. R., Nichols, W. H., & Shufford, E. H. (1957). The relationship of typo- graphic arrangement to the learning of technical material. Journal of Applied Psychology, 41, 41–45. Mason, J. M., & Kendall, J. R. (1979). Facilitating reading comprehension through text structure manipulation. The Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 25, 68–76. North, A. J., & Jenkins, L. B. (1951). Reading speed and comprehension as a function of typography. Journal of Applied Psychology, 35, 225–228. Newsletter February / March 2009 8
  • 11. Kindle2: Crack for readers... until you start reading About the author Kath Straub, PhD, CUA Chief Scientist Human Factors International Kath Straub guides organizations and agencies to design communication and interactions systems that inform, educate, and shape key behaviors. To that end, she integrates multi-disciplinary research methods to uncover the psychological and emotional drives and barriers that inform human attitudes, decisions, and behaviors. Most recently, Kath’s interests have shifted to under- standing how emerging communication methods (e.g., microblogging) and tech- nologies (e.g., mobile) augment the existing information ecosystem and evolve consumer/citizen expectations and behavior. She applies this knowledge to help organizations develop outreach strategies, and to proactively assimilate and draw upon the new channels and changing behaviors. Electronic channels are replacing the “picket fences” we used to gossip over. Is your organization ready? Kath Straub is the Chief Scientist and Executive Director of Human Factors International. She holds a Ph.D. in Brain and Cognitive Science from the University of Rochester (NY). She has been recognized by Federal Computer Week Magazine as a Rising Star in Government. Newsletter February / March 2009 9
  • 12. Human Factors International 410 West Lowe, P.O. Box 2020 Fairfield, IA 52556 Phone: 800.242.4480 Fax: 641.472.5412 hfi@humanfactors.com www.humanfactors.com © 2009 Human Factors International, Inc.
  • 13. Kindle2: Crack for readers... until you start reading How text formatting can ruin (or enhance) the readability and persuasiveness of text Kath Straub, PhD, CUA / Chief Scientist Human Factors International, Inc. February / March, 2009 Newsletter Human Factors International
  • 14. Kindle2: Crack for readers... until you start reading Interesting. Maybe it was the early adopter thing. Curiosity about new gadgets. Wanting to touch. To play. To decide if that new little thing will be the next big thing. In the Chinese sense. Maybe it was the road-warrior reader thing: I travel a lot. And I read a lot. Which book should I take? Maybe it was the attention deficit thing. Reading one book at a time gets... boring. And all those books get heavy. However you explain it, I own a Kindle2. It’s been an interesting ride. I’m ready to get off the bike. You say red herring. To be sure, part of the fun of Kindle is that Amazon had to balance a lot of design options. For instance, they decided to tried to create an unpacking-the- I say red herrings. product-should-be-emotional experience. For an Apple native, that was a bit weird. Somehow, the pull-off paper zipper (think FedEX envelopes) sets the wrong tone. But, they tried. Out of the box, my first impression was positive. It’s smaller than I thought. The text resolution is better than I had hoped. But then, there is no backlight. That means the battery lasts a really long time. But it also means that the screen is surprisingly grey and the text contrast is low. And you still need a night light to read. The keyboard lets you annotate while you read. But it’s awkward. Big. That choice seemed odd since the bigger keyboard meant a smaller reading screen. We are all trained to type on phone-sized keyboards by now, aren’t we? Navigating isn’t bad. The fact that the Menu button takes you to Shop At the Kindle Store is irritating. Even if I understand why it’s so. The joystick offers a few surprises, like you can’t turn pages with it. Newsletter February / March 2009 2
  • 15. Kindle2: Crack for readers... until you start reading But these problems are red herring(s). Kindle isn’t really about unpacking and navigating. It’s about reading. Unfortunately, the reading part is where Amazon goes wrong. Step away It was a small detail in the Kindle ad that tipped my decision to try it. Unless you’ve spent years thinking about the psychology of reading, you probably from the edge. won’t notice it. The text on the right side of the "page" is not right-justified. It has a ragged- right edge. And that, for me, was tantalizing. In justified text, the size of spaces between words is varied to make the lines come out even (like in this paragraph). The size of the spaces is irregular but not meaningful. The goal is just to make the lines come out even. But your brain reg- isters that the spaces are different sizes. And it tries to sort out what that infor- mation conveys. Trying to interpret signals that are just noise slows you down and makes reading feel more effortful. Just because you can, It may seem counter-intuitive that a small detail like where lines end would make text easier to read. If it’s true, why do publishers of books, journals, doesn’t mean magazines and newspapers right-justify everything? It’s a question that a lot of you should. us who think about reading think about, a lot. Newsletter February / March 2009 3
  • 16. Kindle2: Crack for readers... until you start reading Our most charitable guess is that publishers think that justified text looks better. It does. If you like rectangles. But the research shows that people read ragged-right copy faster than right-justi- fied copy (Hartley & Burnhill, 1971; Jandreau & Bever, 1992). So, to justify or not to justify depends on whether the goal is a pret- tier page or an easier read. I vote for easier to read. And that is why I was enticed by the raggedy edged Kindle ad. And the first publication I opened (the New Yorker) lived up to the promise: Hertzberg, in ragged right. With the cartoons thoughtfully aggregated into one section. Joy. But the second one I opened (Nudge; Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness), and the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth (White Tiger, a novel; I was told there’d be cake, essays; Technology Review; and the Wall Street Journal, respectively) all have right-justified text. Gain the buyer’s trust. Violate the buyer’s trust. To be fair, it may not be Amazon that is making the choice. But they could. And if any single group can make reading better, it is Amazon. Well, maybe Amazon and ReadSmart. One stop Actually, there’s more to enhancing readability than where lines end. Remember how the random size of spaces between words in right-justified text past the end undermines reading? The reverse is also true. Bever and colleagues, linguists of the line... and psychologists at the University of Arizona, have shown that when line end- ings and space sizes offer clues to how words should be grouped, reading is faster and feels easier (Bever, Jandreau, Burwell, Kaplan & Zaenan, 1990; Jandreau & Bever, 1992; among many others.) To show this, Bever and team engineered (and patented) a text processing / formatting algorithm (which they call ReadSmart) that "reads" text input and adjusts inter- and intra-word spacing based on psychologically tested, linguistic rules. The new, meaningful spaces guide readers’ eyes and help them to group the words correctly even as they read. "ReadSmarted" text is easier to read Newsletter February / March 2009 4
  • 17. Kindle2: Crack for readers... until you start reading because part of work of reading is already done for you. But unlike other text formatting algorithms, ReadSmart improves readability without changing the length of the text or the way that it looks on the surface. Bever’s early studies of linguistic formatting (including more than 500 students in the U.S. and abroad) showed that when the spaces between / within words predict the structure, comprehension and reading speed increase up to 20%. Similar comprehension improvements have been documented for readers under duress and second- language readers. It’s much more More recent industry studies suggest that improving readability and compre- hension may also increase persuasiveness. The scenario supposedly goes persuasive if I read it. something like this: 1. A potential donor receives solicitation letters. If they like the cause, they may open the letter. 2. If they open them, they tend to skim, for about as long as it takes to get from the front door / mail box to the kitchen / trash can. 3. Since Readsmarted text reads faster and more easily, potential donors get further into the message to the emotional hook that removes the block or amplifies their drive toward commitment. 4. Along the way, since the cognitive burden of "reading" is reduced by ReadSmarting text, readers can commit more mental energy to processing and remembering the message. Remembered messages are more persuasive. Even if the scenario is not exactly right, the effect of formatting text to improve readability is profound. Direct mail donor acquisition letters that are formatted by ReadSmart work better. In a meta-analysis of 5 direct marketing campaigns reaching 393,000 households (over multiple charities), the formatted letters triggered 22% more responses than donor letters with standard text. And, peo- ple who responded to a formatted solicitation ultimately donated more (48% more on average)1. 1 To be sure, the scale of the behavior change resulting from ReadSmarting text makes it feel a bit like a but-wait!-there’s more! paid-for-TV commercial. I’d be far more skepti- cal, if I didn’t have direct knowledge of the psycholinguistic research behind text-format- ting generally and ReadSmart specifically. (Fair balance: Bever was my thesis advisor.) Newsletter February / March 2009 5
  • 18. Kindle2: Crack for readers... until you start reading More than Ultimately, linguistically-informed text formatting algorithms like ReadSmart make text more persuasive by reducing the mental burden of reading. Readers meets the eye. understand better with less effort. By extension, organizations and agencies that apply these algorithms can benefit as well. And that promise makes ReadSmart tantalizing. Sort of like the Kindle2 was. And could be again. If Amazon made "ReadSmart my book" the default menu item. Until then, I’m going back to paperbacks. [The ReadSmart text formatting algorithm improves readability on paper, in fixed-width websites, and on mobile phones. To learn more go to www.readsmart.com.] References Anglin, J. M., & Miller, G. A. (1968). The role of phrase structure in the recall of meaningful verbal material. Psychonomic Science, 10, 343–344. Bever, T. G., & Robbart, J. (2008). System and method of determining phrasing in text. U.S. Patent No. 7,346,489. Washington, DC: U. S. Patent and Trademark Office. Bever, T. G., & Robbart, J. (2008). System and method for formatting text according to phrasing. Patent pending. Washington, DC: U. S. Patent and Trademark Office. Bever, T. G., & Robbart, J. (2006). System and method for formatting text according to linguistic, visual and psychological variables. U.S. Patent No. 7,069,508. Washington, DC: U. S. Patent and Trademark Office. Bever, T. G., Nicholas, C. D., Hancock, R., Alcock, K. W., & Jandreau, S. M. (2007). System, plug-in and method for improving text composition by modifying char- acter prominence according to assigned character information measures. Patent pending. Washington, DC: U. S. Patent and Trademark Office. Bever, T. G., Jandreau, S., Burwell, R. , Kaplan, R., & Zaenan, A. (1990). Spacing printed text to isolate major phrases improves readability. Visible Language, 25, 74–87. Newsletter February / March 2009 6
  • 19. Kindle2: Crack for readers... until you start reading Coleman, E. B., & Kim, I. (1961). Comparison of several styles of typography in English. Journal of Applied Psychology, 45, 262–267. Hartley, J. (1980). Spatial cues in text. Visible Language, 14, 67–79. Hartley, J., & Burnhill, P. (1971). Experiments with unjustified text. Visible Language, 5, 265–278. Jandreau, S., & Bever, T. G. (1992). Phrase-spaced formats improve comprehen- sion in average readers. Journal of Applied Psychology, 77, 143–146. Nicholas, C. D., Maher, J. Ashley, K. L., Berendt, L. H. (2009). System and method for converting the digital typesetting documents used in publishing to a device-specific format for electronic publishing. Patent pending. Washington, DC: U. S. Patent and Trademark Office. Klare, G. R., Nichols, W. H., & Shufford, E. H. (1957). The relationship of typo- graphic arrangement to the learning of technical material. Journal of Applied Psychology, 41, 41–45. Mason, J. M., & Kendall, J. R. (1979). Facilitating reading comprehension through text structure manipulation. The Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 25, 68–76. North, A. J., & Jenkins, L. B. (1951). Reading speed and comprehension as a function of typography. Journal of Applied Psychology, 35, 225–228. Newsletter February / March 2009 7
  • 20. Kindle2: Crack for readers... until you start reading About the author Kath Straub, PhD, CUA Chief Scientist Human Factors International Kath Straub guides organizations and agencies to design communication and interactions systems that inform, educate, and shape key behaviors. To that end, she integrates multi-disciplinary research methods to uncover the psycho- logical and emotional drives and barriers that inform human attitudes, deci- sions, and behaviors. Most recently, Kath’s interests have shifted to understand- ing how emerging communication methods (e.g., microblogging) and technolo- gies (e.g., mobile) augment the existing information ecosystem and evolve con- sumer/ citizen expectations and behavior. She applies this knowledge to help organizations develop outreach strategies, and to proactively assimilate and draw upon the new channels and changing behaviors. Electronic channels are replacing the “picket fences” we used to gossip over. Is your organization ready? Kath Straub is the Chief Scientist and Executive Director of Human Factors International. She holds a Ph.D. in Brain and Cognitive Science from the University of Rochester (NY). She has been recognized by Federal Computer Week Magazine as a Rising Star in Government. Newsletter February / March 2009 8
  • 21. Human Factors International 410 West Lowe, P.O. Box 2020 Fairfield, IA 52556 Phone: 800.242.4480 Fax: 641.472.5412 hfi@humanfactors.com www.humanfactors.com © 2008 Human Factors International, Inc.