Editor's note: This research mentioned in this article was conducted by RJI Research Scholars Robert Gutsche Jr., Susan Jacobson and Jacqueline Marino

You’ve done the weeks and possibly months of reporting, you’ve crafted thousands of words, and now you’ve packaged  your longform story for mobile. 

But will people read it?

Yes, especially if you reduce distractions, break up sections of text, and use relevant visuals and interactive elements. That’s according to a new reportpublished last month by researchers at the University of Missouri’s Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute that surveyed the longform mobile reading habits of 53 millennials using “eye tracking, semi-structured interviews, focus groups and paper prototyping.”

Storybench pulled out five takeaways from the study.

Use the rotation and swiping capabilities of mobile to enhance the longform reading experience

  • ‘Interactive’ features mentioned by our participants included entering text, clicking, tapping, swiping, and scrolling. Cellphones may extend the notion of interactivity beyond the capability of projects designed for laptops: When building the mobile version of a longform article, one group in the paper prototyping study utilized the rotation and motion capabilities of phone to guide viewers interested in accessing video.”

Read the full article 


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