Usability in print media

In the article Why Usability Matters, Monica Moses looks at how usability (and info architecture) principles can be applied to print journalism.

“Text is the hardest format we give readers. It is potentially the most precise — and perhaps even the most satisfying. But reading text is essentially unnatural. Nobody is born knowing how. Even when we get good at it, reading text requires letter-by-letter, word-by-word translation by the brain. It’s work.”

It’s all pretty obvious stuff, like splitting up text into easily scannable lists, but I couldn’t help but wonder where this might lead if taken to extremes…. The latest Stephen King 600-pager reduced to a 4-page summary of bullet points and plot graphs? 😉