What makes people read your website? Tuesday October 20, 2009
It’s all location, location, location when it comes to effective online copy.
Left of centre
Thanks to Richard Flewitt at New Edge, I heard about an interesting article on how people read online content. In the article on Ragan.com, writer Gerry McGovern describes how one of his clients had a task they wanted employees to undertake on their intranet site. They placed the task right in the centre column of their site home page, thinking employees would quickly identify it. But out of 15 people, only one noticed the task! Apparently this all comes down to the way people tend to read websites. They expect to see a menu or links to the most important content on the left hand side.
More than the F factor
And there’s brand new research. Is your website copy missing out because of the F factor? Internet psychologist Graham Jones reminds us how eye tracking studies reveal that the way we look at web pages follows an F shape. His point is that putting your website into an F shape for usability purposes could be working against you. Apparently “new research shows that it is not what we see in our central vision that is important. Psychologists from Kansas State University have revealed that our peripheral vision plays a much greater role than previously thought.” What’s around the main parts of your web pages could make an important difference to how your customers respond to your message.
It seems there’s more to online copy than meets the eye.
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