Why the world might never turn completely digital

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Smartphones, tablets, e-readers… It’s sometimes hard to imagine we ever lived without them. They have multiple advantages to offer, and every new device is even more innovative than the previous one. As a company, it therefore seems only logical to keep up with the times and turn everything digital. Before you do so, however, you might want to consider the findings of a study conducted by the University of Wichita. According to that study, screens are not always preferred over paper. The findings show that, in some cases, paper is more effective. There are two reasons for that.


First of all, it is more difficult to read a document on screen than on paper, as you may have experienced already. The study shows that the reading speed on screen is 25% slower than on paper, which is one of the main reasons why people stop reading digital documents sooner than their corresponding paper versions.


That is shown in the following graph:



As you can see on the graph, a document on screen gets only 12 seconds of attention, whereas the paper version holds the attention for almost 2 minutes. That increased attention span is not the only reason why it is sometimes better to opt for paper. According to the study, the importance and the length of your document should be kept in mind as well. The more important the document, the more likely it is it should be printed. Have a document longer than 20 pages? You might want to print it. It won’t save trees, but most people prefer to have lengthy documents on paper, so the study shows (see the graph below).



As the screen is not always preferred over paper, it seems like the world might not turn completely digital after all. Pity? Maybe. Fact is that you can still present your paper documents in a stylish way, just as good - or maybe even better - as on the screen.

About Peleman Industries

Since 1979, Peleman Industries has been specialising in the design, manufacturing and worldwide distribution of solutions for printed presentations and photos.