Avoid PDF overload
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Posting PDF versions (PDFs) of original documents on your site would seem to be an obvious alternative to re-writing your content in web-format. Unfortunately, this would work against your goal of retaining users. Posting too many PDF documents on your website can work against you. The Nielson group has done multiple studies on PDFs and has consistently found that users hate them and try to avoid reading PDFs at all costs.
- Are slow to open and can sometimes crash a computer if they are too large
- Are difficult for some screen users to read
- Can make a user lose the website if they open in the same window
If you need to post a PDF use a gateway page – a web page that includes information about the PDF, including.
- What it's about
- How large the file is
- Who might find the information helpful
Remember to follow 508-compliance guidelines when using PDFs. See www.section508.gov for more information on 508-compliance.