The truth is that on the web, people just don’t read. They look for visual clues first and then search for content and navigation based upon screen layout and conventional design norms. At best, users will scan a landing page for second or two before moving on and if your lucky, something visually will catch their attention and give them pause to actually read and absorb a message.
Jakob Neilsen (aka the Usability guru) has recently released a new report that updates his studies on webpage visits and reading that helps confirm this...
“On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely.”
It’s not amazing to see this trend hasn’t changed much since Neilsen’s original study in 1997. Plain and simple, people don’t read websites. They scan.