Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Eye pattern movement in online reading

We formerly thought people scanned the computer screen, when reading web pages, with eye movements following the shape of the letter C or a backward Z.

Now, fast-forward to F patterns of screen viewing.


The above link will take you to more info on these interesting images, and the project's author suggestion of what it means for you. If you want pepole who glance at your web page to find the critical content, put it where they will see it.
  • Users won't read your text thoroughly in a word-by-word manner. Exhaustive reading is rare, especially when prospective customers are conducting their initial research to compile a shortlist of vendors. Yes, some people will read more, but most won't.

  • The first two paragraphs must state the most important information. There's some hope that users will actually read this material, though they'll probably read more of the first paragraph than the second.

  • Start subheads, paragraphs, and bullet points with information-carrying words that users will notice when scanning down the left side of your content in the final stem of their F-behavior. They'll read the third word on a line much less often than the first two words. 
Read full analysis here: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/reading_pattern.html