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Eye Tracking: Helpful Tips For Your Site Design

Eye Tracking: Helpful Tips For Your Site DesignA recent article takes a look at one of the more overlooked design principles, the patterns of eye movement. For readers of our blog, eye movement and gaze tracking will come as nothing new, but for many designers and creative directors, gaze tracking is still something of a mystery, yet to be truly utilized in some circles.

Many designers focus on graphics that can distract, animations, overly complex design, background images, drop shadows, etc., so much so, that they tend not to think about how someone will actually use the site.

Of course you want your site to look good, to be pretty and intriguing. But aesthetics only go so far. Good design needs to be functional, satisfying the initial purpose of the site itself first.

In the post, the author writes that they’ve looked at a number of sites and seen one thing in common. Visitors tend to naturally focus on the point in the upper left corner of the page. They skim to the right, look down, then skim right again, forming the classic F-shape we’ve discussed in these very pages.

The F pattern occurs when users start at the top left, scan horizontally across and move downward, mapping the eye movement in the shape of the letter. If you look at general heat maps for most sites, there’s not much visitor awareness when it comes to the right column of the page. Important information or links can be located in the region, but the page isn’t effective if no one is looking at it.

So what can we learn from this in the end? If we determine whether a page is a landing page or non-landing page, that’s the first step. Landing pages tend not to present a problem for the most part. The article offers a simple solution that could help – a call to action button. As visitors eye movements are often skipping all over the place, it can help if you have something central that can help to locate a place for action. On a blog or another site, readers tend towards the F pattern, so maybe you can quietly guide them with the proper placement of an action button on the landing page. From there, you’ll need to cater more towards their habits.

Eye Movement Patterns in Web Design