Research shows reader’s patterns.
Eyetracking has been used for many years in fields like aviation and cognitive psychology, but it is only recently that advances in technology have allowed it to become part of the website usability evaluation process. For website usability purposes, eye tracking studies explore navigation, search and other interactions with online applications, influencing user-interface architecture, design layout of screens, and size of design elements.
One eyetracking study by usability consultant Jakob Nielson found that website visitors often scan the main body of text on a page in an F-shaped pattern. Initially users scan the website horizontally across the upper portion of the content area. Horizontal movements further down the page are concluded by vertical movement along the left side of the page. It is crucial to place important information such as e-mail addresses and phone numbers at the top left of any content page.
Another eyetracking study by Eyetools Inc and MarketingSherpa concluded the following:
- Users always look at the upper-left corner
- Users hardly read text, they tend to scan
- Material placed underneath images is viewed quite often
- Navigational links usually distract users from the main purpose of the page
For more information, please request the Blizzard Internet Marketing White Paper on Professional Website Usability.