by Martin Lemieux
This you DO NOT want to miss: The newest report out on "seeing" what people look at when they browse through your site and how they react to certain layouts, headlines, images, and text formats.
Do you really want to know what people see when they visit your site? You think you're ready for the harsh reality?
The project managers of the EYETRACK III team, Steve Outing and Laura Ruel seem to have done quite a bit of work and I want to thank them for their findings.
So how do we utilize this new found information ? Knowledge is only power, unless it is applied.
Applying Knowledge: Homepage Layout
"The eyes most often fixated first in the upper left of the page, then hovered in that area before going left to right. Only after perusing the top portion of the page for some time did their eyes explore further down the page."
It is mentioned all throughout those articles that the people they tested and had the EyeTracker III track their movements, and they repeatedly looked towards the upper left hand corner first. The logical reason for that would be because many people in the world read left-to-right. Only certain people can read right-to-left.
That would be another explanation why they even tested sites that used their menu on the right and why most of the people tested, seemed to be drawn to the menus on the right.
Pay Attention As To What You Add On The Top Left Hand Corner!
Msn does this so perfectly, here's what you can find at the top of MSN, MSN Home, My MSN, Hotmail, Web Search, Shopping, Money, People & Chat .
The study shows that with having important links at the top, people will gravitate to those links first. First impressions are huge, even more than most of us consider sometimes.
Things you can add at the top to maximize the space:
- Add a link To Their Favorites button
- Tell a friend link
- Search function
- Company specials
- Site Map
- Contact Us
- Print Page
- Newsletter Subscription
- Daily News Report
How To Improve Your Content For More Exposure:
If you have information or news that you want read right away, try to implement and position that information near the top. The study shows that by adding a small "caption" of the article, people will generally read the caption more than if there were only a headline to the article.
On the other hand, it doesn't mean that people will read the entire article more but ... You may attract readers to that article that may have just brushed the headline off.
The key to your content is flow:
If you want people to scroll down and view the content that you have near the bottom of the page, make sure that ALL of your content flows towards the bottom. Try not to break it in any way. The more flow you have, the more people will browse down.
Many aspects of web sites functionality is sub-conscious. Implementing more and more tested strategies will increase your chances at a successful and powerful website.
Does mimicking newspaper formats help your content?
Not really, the Eeyetrack III didn't show a more positive response to websites that did mimic newspapers and their content. In fact, the reaction to the content was approximately the same as any other column online.
"It is very easy to get people to visit your site once, It's even harder to keep them there and/or get them to come back." MRL
Can you increase the time spent on your site?
With the EyeTrack system, they also tested "time" factors into their findings. What they found wasn't too shocking since most humans react the same way when browsing and & learning online.
Our attention span online is very limited, you need to grab their attention right away. If you don't grab someone's attention at first glance, they will click away on the spot.
What kind of design layout is the best?