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Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Rules by Jeff Johnson

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Chapter 4. Reading is Unnatural

Most people in industrialized nations grew up in households and school districts that promoted education and reading. They learned to read as young children and became good or excellent readers by adolescence. As adults, most of our activities during a normal day involve reading. The process of reading—deciphering words into their meaning—is for most educated adults automatic, leaving our conscious minds free to ponder the meaning and implications of what we are reading. Because of this background, it is common for good readers to consider reading to be as “natural” a human activity as speaking is.

We’re Wired for Language, But Not for Reading

Speaking and understanding spoken language is a natural human ability, ...

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