Print: Section 2.2

Write Actionable Content

2.2 Put the most important information first.30

Many users with limited literacy skills read only the first few words on a page or paragraph. If they think the content will be easy to get through, they may keep reading. If they’re overwhelmed and think it might be too difficult, they’ll skip to a different spot on the page.7,27,28,34,35,36,37

Figure 2.1

This healthfinder.gov topic puts the most important information about preventing skin cancer first. Additional information comes after the basics.

Screen shot of healthfinder.gov 'Take Steps to Prevent Skin Cancer' topic

Source: http://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/health-conditions-and-diseases/cancer/steps-to-prevent-skin-cancer

By putting the most important information first, you’re also structuring your content for mobile users—and for busy users no matter their literacy level or the device they’re using. Eye-tracking data shows us that all users tend to read content at the top of a webpage and lose interest quickly if the information doesn’t seem relevant to them.25