We skim on an iPad and we read on paper.

Comparaison lecture journal/iPad

The Miratech team wanted to know how reading patterns differ between an iPad and a printed newspaper.
Our conclusion : people read articles in a printed newspaper and only skim through them on an iPad.

We conducted a study to analyze the differences between reading on an iPad and reading a printed newspaper.

For the purposes of the study, we used the iPad and printed versions of the 20 Minutes newspaper. We used special eye tracking technology to monitor the eye activity of participants, and we measured how well they remembered the articles and ads.

In our previous article, we revealed that reading on an iPad is more superficial than reading in a printed newspaper.

We continued to analyze the results by focusing on the average overall reading time, the number of articles read, and the number of ads looked at.

Regards sur la une du journal iPad et du journal papier

Eye activity on the front pages of the iPad and paper versions

More articles are read on the iPad

The most significant difference was in the number of articles read.

Readers read twice as many articles on an iPad than in a printed newspaper (35% of articles read on the iPad, compared with 18% on paper).

This is because reading on an iPad is more superficial: people skim through the information (see previous results). They concentrate less and less information is retained.

Articles read

No difference in ad visibility

There is no marked difference between ad visibility on an iPad and in a printed newspaper. 26% of ads are looked at on the iPad, compared with 21% in the printed paper.

Add looked at

Ads get just as much attention on paper...

Ads get just as much attention on paper…

...than on an iPad.

…than on an iPad.

The average time spent reading is greater on an iPad

We noticed that readers spend more time on the iPad, taking 2’30″ more to go through the whole newspaper!

The readers noticed that the brightness of the iPad screen made text and images stand out. As a result, the iPad content looks more appealing and readers want to spend more time on it. On the downside, they also noticed that reading on the iPad put more strain on their eyes.

Average time spent reading


Miratech revealed the differences between reading on an iPad and reading a printed newspaper:

  • On an iPad, reading is efficient but superficial. Readers look through more articles, but retain less information.
  • People assimilate and remember information more when they read it in a printed newspaper.

In short : we skim through articles on an iPad and we actually read them on paper.

In our next newsletter we will present the results of our study on how computer mice and touch screens are used.

Important: Miratech won First Prize of the Be-UX Paris event for Wonder.Legal, a solution for online legal documents.