John Morkes is Co-Founder and Principal at Expero Inc., a consulting firm specializing in the definition, design and usability of user experiences for complex applications and websites. Morkes leads the User Research and Usability group at Expero. Morkes has worked as a usability engineer for Sun and HP and as a journalist for Wired and R&D Magazine. He received a Ph.D. from Stanford University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Northwestern University. He has presented tutorials at Nielsen Norman Group conferences since 2000.
Studies of how users read on the Web found that they do not actually read: instead, they scan the text. A study of five different writing styles found that a sample Web site scored 58% higher in measured usability when it was written concisely, 47% higher when the text was scannable, and 27% higher when it was written in an objective style instead of the promotional style used in the control condition and many current Web pages. Combining these three changes into a single site that was concise, scannable, and objective at the same time resulted in 124% higher measured usability.