You have heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but those that study eye tracking say that text still rules.
So how can you make it better?
The now-famous Eyetrack III study, conducted in 2004, tracked the eye movements of 46 people as they viewed online news.
There is a much to be taken away from the study and applied to enhance the experience at blogs and other information-based websites.
Here are the six that I found most interesting:
2. Smaller headlines integrated with blurb text resulted in participants scrolling further down the page.
3. Introductory paragraphs may be the only thing many readers view and those that go on to read the text of a story will do so, whether or not there is an introduction present.
4. Keep paragraphs short, one to two sentences max.
5. Subheads can help hold or recapture attention that is beginning to wane, but they do not appear to create interest in a story.
6. Readers look at text first and images later, think about putting photos to the right or below the first paragraph of text.
There is much more than this at the site, including a whole section about improving advertising results.
Note: More than pretty colors, the “heatmap” image above shows aggregate eye fixations and viewing of a news website homepage. Click on the image or here to learn more about heatmaps.
(Update: See related article, Free Tools: Improve the Design of Your Site)