Summary of the latest Alertbox (and yes, it's a summary, not an introduction):
Introductory text on Web pages is usually too long, so users skip it. But short intros can increase usability by explaining the remaining content's purpose.
Jakob Nielsen refers to the introductory text on a web page as blah-blah text. He says readers usually skip it. I've even had a usability tester say, "That's the bit you don't read." But there are good and useful ways to write the initial text on a page.
Our Contented courses go further than just cutting the word count, as Nielsen rightly advises. We analyse 5 useful types of introductions (which we call summaries for good reason), and 5 types that are a waste of space.