Previous research (conducted in 2010 by the University of Alberta) found that content comprehension was impaired when readers were using a small screen.
However, new research found 'no practical differences' in the comprehension scores of its test subjects. The improvement may be down to both improved technology, and a better understanding of how to write content for mobile delivery.
The 2016 research
- Participants read a variety of articles on different topics and with different levels of difficulty
- Articles were presented as HTML pages using the same design template
- Participants read half of the articles on a computer and half of the articles on a phone
- There was no perceptible difference in reading comprehension between the devices
- Easy passages were read about as fast on both devices, but hard passages actually took longer on mobile versus computer
- Content creators still need to focus on brevity and prioritising their content for mobile delivery.
More information on the research.