Follow the pattern

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Jacob Nielson found that readers of websites use "an F-shaped reading pattern: visitors would start at the top left, scan straight across, return to the left, drop down, and scan to the right again. Then they'd return to the left side of the page, going straight down."
- Writing for the Web 3.0

I never realized how I read a website until I read this idea that Jacob Nielsen researched. Try it. Go to a new website and see how you react to it, how do you read the page? I definitely read the page in an F-shape. Interesting. 

What else is interesting that Eyetrack III observed was that 

larger type encouraged scanning;

smaller type encouraged careful reading.

Readers also paid attention to blurbs, which later Kilian explained was defined as a sexy cover art, if they were on the same line as the headline. Blurbs were only read if they were short and the first two words grabbed the attention of the reader. You know when you log on to Facebook, the news feed, well, I think of them as blurbs and I only really look at the "blurbs" that either sound funny or interesting or if they look intriguing. Don't you?

In section 2.2, they took a look at hook, links, and blurbs. While reading this section I thought to myself, "Don't we do this when we compile our blogging portfolios?"

We do. We compile our blogs into an entry, write a hook for a reader to actually open the blogging portfolio, we include many links to our blogs and comments on other blogs and at the same time, we write blurbs about the blog entries that will catch the eye of the readers.

So, in a way, I thought the information in this chapter wasn't anything new, it just reiterated what we have already been doing and what we already know.

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3 Comments

Jed Fetterman said:

I never realized how much I hated websites without banners and navbars until I read the book, now I know why. I also never knew how much fun it was to write blurbs until I started this class. Since college is all about finding a career, I wonder if anyone would pay me money to create blurbs all day? I think Dr. Jerz told us most of the stuff in this chapter on the first day, or throughout the course, so I would agree that this is nothing new.

Kevin Hinton said:

Hooks are key to webpages. Just think of all the other ways you can "grab" attention. Eyetrack III goes into detail about how people read and uses webpages. In fact, their webpage has an article about how newpaper websites are looking more closely to their layout.

Article: http://www.poynterextra.org/eyetrack2004/main.htm

Andy Lonigro said:

Wow, I did it on your article. I looked at the larger type first and fell into your trap... WHY???

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This page contains a single entry by West Coast Envy published on September 25, 2008 6:59 PM.

Is it an election or an auction? was the previous entry in this blog.

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