Online content often refers to other online content, especially in a blog like this. Linking to other sites, videos, or photos is how we share our interests. In my case, I often refer to other content as an example on what to do or not do. However, two things need to be considered when we do this: user action and reader comprehension.
If I were to say something like, “I like ProBloggers logo.”, and then simply offered a link to Darren Rowse blog, user action is required to finish reading. The reader must visit the blog, see the logo for themselves, and then hopefully return to my post to finish reading. Not good.
The tip here is to avoid requiring user action to read your content. It’s good usability for the user, and good for keeping your visitors on your site longer. You want to keep your visitors, right?
By not showing the extra content (logo in this case), it not only forces uses action, but reduces reader comprehension. An example of this would be if I were talking specifically about Darren’s P in his logo. Forcing a user to visit his site, and then come back to mine often requires re-reading, or potentially loss of the point I was trying to make. Do you hate losing your place just to look at something? I do.
A better way would be to include the screenshot within my post so the reader can quickly see, and they can continue reading.
I like ProBloggers logo, what about you?
To give a little credit, and to make sure readers can look more into it after reading, I also make the content link to the source. Optionally, you can also include a text link as well. Darren’s site, ProBlogger.
Including screenshots within my articles will eliminate user action to read, reader comprehension will improve, and visitors stay on my site longer.