At Susan Bell Research we've pioneered a new approach to qualitative research that helps us understand human behaviour in a new way. We call it Sensemaking. Sensemaking is a framework to use in qualitative research.
Sensemaking brings insight into qualitative research
To investigate how people navigate between their own personal beliefs and their social relationships. In Australia, choosing to become a vegetarian is a good example because it is often a very personal choice which potentially affects that person’s relationship with other people.
As a way to come grips with who people make decisions in ambiguous or confusing circumstances. In Australia, how people become retirees (often without choosing to) is a great example.
Reading and the psychology of motivation
Reading is a voluntary activity that people can start to do if they want to. They can also stop reading any time - even mid sentence. Although we tend to think of reading as somehow different from other forms of behaviour, many psychological concepts still apply. One of those is motivation and goal orientation.
Reading and motivation
Is your content full of jargon?
If your content is full of jargon, you are at risk of
- Creating unnecessary effort for your users and customers.
- Limiting how much they understand, and
- Disengaging them
"Jargon disrupts people’s ability to fluently process scientific information, even when definitions for the jargon terms are provided. ....... Research shows the less work audiences need to put into reading, the more they will find sources credible, and the better they will connect with the messages. " *
Lessons learned from testing written content with users
Over many years, I have tested written content on a diverse range of topics such as cycling safety, exchange-traded funds, denied insurance claims, superannuation fees and charges, and making a will. I have watched how people read letters, landing pages, statements and brochures and how they filled in forms. From this experience, I have learned how people actually read.
User testing shows when people skim read or stop reading
Content creators are often advised to write for skim readers who navigate via headings. In my experience, this is only partly true. It depends on how familiar the content is to them - or rather how familiar it seems and what they presume they need to do after reading it.