Wednesday, March 14, 2007


+ Eyetracking points the way to effective news article design has Online Journalism Review's design experts review usability research and offer suggestions on how you can make your online articles better connect with readers.

Some very interesting information and some somewhat logical stuff.
Changing the story presentation to text with:
- bulleted items
- subheadlines
- tighter writing
increased comprehension by 12 percent, with readers of the reformatted text indicating that they were more satisfied with the experience.


Conyne recommends designers avoid the generic pictures that are often used just for the sake of having a picture.

"For example," she said, "if an article is about a signature meal at a restaurant, say a tuna dish, display a scrumptious-looking picture of the plate of food. Don't show a generic picture of a spoon and fork, as many sites do."

When photos do contain people related to the task at hand, or the content users are exploring, they do get fixations. However, gender makes a distinct difference on what parts of the photo are stared at the longest. Take a look at the hotspot below.

Although both men and women look at the image of George Brett when directed to find out information about his sport and position, men tend to focus on private anatomy as well as the face. For the women, the face is the only place they viewed.
Another related and just as interesting/relevant article titled F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content which looked at the way in which web users view pages.
- Users won't read your text thoroughly in a word-by-word manner. Exhaustive reading is rare, especially when prospective customers are conducting their initial research to compile a shortlist of vendors. Yes, some people will read more, but most won't.
- The first two paragraphs must state the most important information. There's some hope that users will actually read this material, though they'll probably read more of the first paragraph than the second.
- Start subheads, paragraphs, and bullet points with information-carrying words that users will notice when scanning down the left side of your content in the final stem of their F-behavior. They'll read the third word on a line much less often than the first two words.
This group will be at the The Usability Week 2007 Conference, which looks very interesting - I'd think about going - heck, the London one is closest too!

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