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The Human Attention Span [INFOGRAPHIC]

Last updated on 24th January 2022

Do you ever feel like our attention spans are getting shorter? It’s not just your imagination; research has revealed that human beings are, indeed, flakier than ever before!

In fact, the average human attention span shrunk by nearly a quarter between the year 2000 and 2015, and we’re now lagging behind the humble goldfish in terms of being able to focus on a task or object.

Check out the infographic below to get all the details, and let us know what you think – if you manage to concentrate all the way to the end! 🙂

The Facts (in case you missed ’em…)

All data sources can be found at the bottom of the infographic.

  • According to research, our attention span has markedly decreased in just 15 years. In 2000, it was 12 seconds. Now, 15 years later, it’s shrunk significantly to 8.25 seconds.
  • In fact, scientists reckon we now have shorter attention spans than goldfish, who are able to focus on a task or object for 9 seconds.
  • That means – as marketers – we’re all trying to sell to goldfish. No wonder it sometimes feels difficult!
  • Human beings are very, very forgetful…25% of teens forget major details of close friends and relatives. 7% of people forget their own birthday from time to time, and studies suggest that each week, 39% of Americans will forget one basic piece of information or lose one every day item.
  • Oh, and by the way, we’re also easily distracted! An average office worker will check their email inbox 30 times every hour (yup…every two minutes…wow) and will pick up their phones more than 1,500 times per week amounting to 3 hours and 16 minutes a day.
  • What about when we’re browsing online? Similar story, I’m afraid. On the average web page, users will read at most 28% of the words during a visit, with 20% a more likely expectation. The average page visit lasts less than a minute and users often leave web pages in just 10-20 seconds.
  • The good news is that there are still ways to hold attention. Nielsen research suggests that pages with a clear value proposition are able to hold people’s attention for much longer.
  • Our top tips are pretty simple – be clear in your messaging. Focus on UX and ease of navigation. Keep your messaging short and sweet. Appeal to consumer desires – tell stories. Oh, and use video.
  • Yeah, video is sweet. Some of the attention span stats above are pretty bleak but did you know that the average viewed length of a single internet video is 2.7 minutes? And that 59% of senior executives would prefer to watch video than read text where both were available? We’re biased but the data definitely fits what we’ve been saying – video is a great way to override the shrinking attention span of the human goldfish!
Published by
Adam Hayes

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