Friday, July 27, 2012

Reading Vs Comprehension : Design Insights

If you are a good reader, the following paragraph will make sense instantly just in one look.

"frequency bandwidth(fb) = bandwidth(sys) computes the bandwidth fb of the SISO dynamic system model sys, defined as the first frequency where the gain drops below 70.79 percent (-3 dB) of its DC value. For FRD models, bandwidth uses the first frequency point to approximate the DC gain."


Ahha...It totally look senseless if you are not an engineer. You cant remember any of it, New information is assimilated more thoroughly when it is plugged into existing cognitive structures. You read it but comprehension "Not my Cup of Tea Duuuuude..!!". 

Lets take one more example

"i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghi t pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! "

When you read you don’t absorb exact letters and words and then interpret them later. You anticipate what will come next. The more previous knowledge you have, the easier it is to anticipate and interpret.
You can calculate readability at here at an online readability check tool
Lets get to one more Interesting Example :

TITLES AND HEADLINES ARE CRITICAL

Read this paragraph:
Enter the building, search for the suitable section. Greet the attendent, show the list, but you can also do it yourself; sort the items into like categories. Once you have sorted/taken the items, you are ready to checkout. You may need to follow different queues for different categories of objects you took.

What is the paragraph about? It’s hard to understand. But what if I give you the same paragraph with a title:

SHOPPING AT A SUPER MARKET

Now reading the paragraph makes more sense: 
Enter the building, search for the suitable section. Greet the attendent, show the list, but you can also do it yourself; sort the items into like categories. Once you have sorted/taken the items, you are ready to go to checkout. You may need to follow different queues for different objects.

People remember what they read depends in their point of view
In a study by Anderson and Pichert (1978), people read a story about a house and the contents within the house. One group was told to read the story from a buyer’s standpoint, and another group was told to read the story from a burglar’s point of view. The information they remembered after reading the story differed depending on their viewpoint.

This is very interesting how our mind really read and comprehend anything, for more scientific understanding of the process (actually the parts of brains that gets stimulated or stimulates process like Passively viewing words,Listening to words, Speaking words, Generating verbs can be found here

What I actually Learnt here?

  • With Literacy rate soaring all over the world, written syllable is the most easiest and widely used mode of communication. What people understand and remember from what they read depends on their previous experience, their point of view while reading, and the instructions they are given beforehand.
  • Don’t assume that people will remember specific information in what they read. There is always chance game being played between interest, experience, readability and Comprehension.
  • A meaningful title/ headline can do magic, absence of which make them loose the perspective.
  • Knowing your consumers, specifically enhances your writing as well all communication. Using simple words and fewer syllables always increase the value of the communication and reach wider audiences.

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