What is it that draws your attention? Is it bright colors? Text? A certain design? The logo in the top left corner? Simplicity? Or, where do your eyes move on the page? These are questions that you personally may not have thought of but a web designer needs to know the answers to. But it gets more complicated than just that. Does your eye movement differ depending on whether you are looking at a computer versus a tablet versus a cell phone screen?
Studies have been conducted for decades to try and understand the way the human eye moves across the page. Advertisers, web designers, and journalists want to understand this to know how to better target their audience. Back in 1990-1991, Poynter conducted a study that searched to find out what people looked at in the newspaper and found that photos really attracted people, specifically color photos. Furthermore, the image was typically the focal point on the page and then the readers eye travelled to the headlines, followed by captions, and ending with the actual text. Then, in 2003-2004, another study was conducted but focused around web sites. They found that readers generally entered the page in the upper left corner, where the logo is typically placed. Along with that, advertisements in the top and left sections of the page attracted the most attention.
Now, these are just a few of the facts about eye tracking, there is a lot behind how people view a tablet as well that Poynter also conducted a study to see. It is our goal as advertisers and web designers to design a page that is easy to read and navigate, but also catch the human eye’s attention and advertise successfully. Understanding these points is essential to do this effectively.
- I’ve discussed some of the pros of eye-tracking, but what do you think some of the cons are?
- What was your understanding of eye-tracking prior to now?