Prefer reading on paper?

7th July 2015

I don’t know about you, but I find it much easier to take in what’s being said when I’m reading something on paper than if I’m reading it on a mobile or other screen.

Now a new survey from one of our supporters, Two Sides, has revealed that I’m not alone. Their research found 84% of people believed they could understand and retain information much better when they read print on paper compared to 31% who felt mobiles and smartphones were useful for imparting useful and memorable information.

An astonishing 71% of people aged 18-24 are worried that their mobile or smartphone is damaging their health in some way, contributing to eyestrain, headaches and insomnia. No wonder only 23% see using a mobile or smartphone as relaxing, compared to 79% who use paper.

Most importantly of all, 83% stated a clear preference for reading print on paper for complicated documents. Another 13% said on a computer was fine, while just 2% preferred a mobile or smartphone. And documents don’t come much more complicated than financial information bulging with small print or a bill stating several different tariffs of kilowatt hours used at different times of day. Much of this echoes a study commissioned by Keep Me Posted, entitled Managing money online – working as well as we think?, which found people make better financial decisions when in receipt of paper statements. In a split run test which quizzed consumers receiving paper correspondence and those receiving digital correspondence, those receiving paper consistently outperformed their digital cousins.

 

Received Paper Statements

Received Electronic Statements

Correctly recalled their bank balance

82%

32%

Correctly recalled the information conveyed

82%

42%

Responded to study

80%

54%

Curbed spending in response to unhealthy bank statement

90%

77%

 

When we’re all trying to make life in general – and financial services in particular – easier for everyone, then a piece of paper should be made available to everyone who wants that choice.

Judith Donovan

The Two Sides survey is available at http://www.twosides.info/Literacy-and-Learning-2015

The Keep Me Posted study is available at http://www.keepmeposteduk.com/sites/default/files/0297%20KMP%20Economics%20Study%206pp%20A4%20Right%20Order.pdf