When you’re putting together a web design strategy for your company’s site, many factors are worth of your consideration: font sizes, color palettes, graphics and visuals … we could go on for a very long time. Another noteworthy issue is the hierarchy of information—written, graphic, and audio/visual—on your page, and, specifically, how you present it to the user. Of course, ideally you’d want viewers to take a good look at everything on your site, but if you had to prioritize which content was the most important, what would take precedence? How about your company’s logo and something about your brand or your “tagline”? Those things are probably more important than, say, your physical address, because without them, users have very little context about what it is you have to offer. When you’ve identified these key pieces of information, it’s smart to allow knowledge of common site eye tracking patterns to guide your web design practices.
What Matters? Location, Location!
Crazyegg and SingleGrain recently published this handy infographic illustrating how the human eye tends to move over a web site. The points it makes are invaluable—for example, did you know that viewers spend 80% of their time checking out the content located above the fold (meaning the part of your site they can see without scrolling down)? So if one of the most important pieces of information you have to share these days is that you’re running a 2-for-1 promotion or 50% off sale, you’ll want to make sure that that information is available to the user as soon as the page loads—no mousing required. The idea is to wow them with the big stuff right away.
Similarly, the infographic points out that placing your logo and/or brand on the top left side of your site means that users will remember them 58.4% more than if you had anywhere else on the page. Check the graphic out for yourself, and you’ll find yourself (temporarily) thinking less like a business owner/web site administrator and more like a potential customer, which should give you some new perspective on how you structure your site. Users browse quickly and skim pages for just a few seconds before moving on. If you were looking at your page for the very first time, what content would make you want to stay, learn more, and shop?
Eye Tracking Informs Web Design
From there, you can see that a pretty clear “pecking order” of information begins to emerge. When you’re designing a web site, you want it to look flawless and function really well—after all, users can’t stand pages that hurt their eyes, take forever to load, or make the browsing, buying, and/or checkout processes a drag—but you also want to make sure you’re prioritizing the things that matter most when it comes to presentation.
Whether you’re putting together your page on your own or employing an expert web design professional to help you, be sure your content arrangement aligns with eye tracking patterns so that the user gets the big picture right away. Give your customers what they want—and what you want them to know!