Stuff I've Googled, what I Googled a few minutes ago, what I'm Googling now, why I'm Googling, and other fascinating information.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I want to see images of the F-shape website reading theory

: f chart how people read online, f shape theory

Why: I want to show Matt. The buffoons who write the freelance articles we edit write long flowery opening paragraphs, most of which we end up deleting. PT talked about this in Blog Class.

Answer: This is how your eyes move when you first open a webpage:

  • Users first read in a horizontal movement, usually across the upper part of the content area. This initial element forms the F's top bar.
  • Next, users move down the page a bit and then read across in a second horizontal movement that typically covers a shorter area than the previous movement. This additional element forms the F's lower bar.
  • Finally, users scan the content's left side in a vertical movement. Sometimes this is a fairly slow and systematic scan that appears as a solid stripe on an eyetracking heatmap. Other times users move faster, creating a spottier heatmap. This last element forms the F's stem.

The More You Know: This was developed by a eyetracking study that recorded how people looked at thousands of webpages.

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