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Researchers Say PDFs Are Simply Made To Be ‘Unfit For Human Consumption’
By Thanussha Priyah, 14 Aug 2020
Image via Shutterstock
Everybody has encountered at least one struggle that comes with working on PDFs including editing it and saving the huge file on your computer. Face it, PDF documents are often seen as inconvenient, and even researchers have confirmed it.
Jakob Nielsen, co-founder of user interface and user experience consulting firm Nielsen Normal Group, has researched about the troubles of PDFs for 20 years.
He recently co-published a report with user experience specialist Anna Kaley, titled PDFs: Still Unfit for Human Consumption, 20 Years Later, about the reasons to why PDFs have been problematic back then and now.
It usually boils down to the format’s usability such as the slow load times and the difficulty in content navigation. The report highlighted that PDFs are, in fact, optimized for paper and not screens, which many may not be aware of.
“The format is intended and optimized for print. It’s inherently inaccessible, unpleasant to read, and cumbersome to navigate online. Neither time nor changes in user behavior have softened our evidence-based stance on this subject,” the report stated.
Another statement read, “Even 20 years later, PDFs are still unfit for human consumption in the digital space.”
Research spanning 20 years proves PDFs are problematic for online reading. https://t.co/pGoyqXlaJ0— Esther Schindler (@estherschindler) August 13, 2020
[via Vice, cover image via Shutterstock]
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