From the post:
We’ve had a couple of digitised books that proved really popular with online audiences. Perhaps partly reflecting the interests of the global population, they’ve been about prostitutes and demons.
I’ve been especially interested in how people have interacted with these popular digitised books. Imagine how you’d pick up a book to look at in a library or bookshop. Would you start from page one, laboriously working through page by page, or would you flip through it, checking for interesting bits? Should we expect any different behaviour when people use a digital book?
We collect data on aggregate (nothing personal or trackable to our users) about what’s being asked of our digitised items in the viewer. With such a large number of views of these two popular books, I’ve got a big enough dataset to get an interesting idea of how readers might be using our digitised books.
Focusing on ‘Compendium rarissimum totius Artis Magicae sistematisatae per celeberrimos Artis hujus Magistros. Anno 1057. Noli me tangere’ (the 18th century one about demons) I’ve mapped the number of page views (horizontal axis) against page number (vertical axis, with front cover at the top), and added coloured bands to represent what’s on those pages.
Chole captured and then analyzed the reading behavior of readers on two very popular electronic titles.
She explains her second observation:
Observation 2: People like looking at pictures more than text
by suggesting the text being in Latin and German may explain the fondness for the pictures.
Perhaps, but I have heard the same observation made about Playboy magazine. 😉
From a documentation/training perspective, Chole’s technique, for digital training materials, could provide guidance on:
- Length of materials
- Use of illustrations
- Organization of materials
- What material is habitually unread?
If critical material isn’t being read, exhorting newcomers to read more carefully, is not the answer.
If security and/or on-boarding reading isn’t happening, as shown by reader behavior, that’s your fault, not the readers.
Your call, successful staff and customers or failing staff and customers you can blame for security faults and declining sales.