Monday, 7 January 2008

Eye Movement Across a Web Site

Check out this article from - its a great resource titled "Scientific Web Design: 23 Actionable Lessons from Eye-Tracking Studies" about how visitors view sites, and makes a fairly complex topic simple in terms of things you can do to maximise performance of your own site. We've listed them below, but go and read the post to get the full picture.

  1. Text attracts attention before graphics. Contrary to what you might think, the first thing users look at on a website isn’t the images.
  2. Initial eye movement focuses on the upper left corner of the page.
  3. Users initially look at the top left and upper portion of the page before moving down and to the right.
  4. Readers ignore banners. Surprise?
  5. Fancy formatting and fonts are ignored.
  6. People generally scan lower portions of the page.
  7. Shorter paragraphs perform better than long ones.
  8. One-column formats perform better in eye-fixation than multi-column formats.
  9. Ads in the top and left portions of a page will receive the most eye fixation.
  10. Ads placed next to the best content are seen more often.
  11. Text ads were viewed mostly intently of all types tested.
  12. Bigger images get more attention.
  13. Headings draw the eye.
  14. Users spend a lot of time looking at buttons and menus.
  15. Lists hold reader attention longer.
  16. Large blocks of text are avoided.
  17. White space is good.
  18. Navigation tools work better when placed at the top of the page.

Many of them are obvious, but its nice seeing the traditional view path 'heat map' translated into an actionable list.

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