The Eyetrack III study released today has lots of interesting findings at quick summary of the results is here.
The study tracked eye movements of 46 persons as they scanned web pages from 20 major news organizations.
Summary of findings:
* the upper left of a web page draws the most eye time
* dominant headlines draw
* smaller type encourages reading the words; larger type encourages scanning
* readers spend more time on front pages with blurbs than with headlines alone, but don’t click anymore than front pages with only headlines
* on homepages navigation on top is viewed more than if placed on left or right of page
* on story pages left navigation is viewed most, but right navigation also works almost ast well
* front pages with blurbblurbs underlined headlines discourages reading of blurbs underneath the headline
* if readers are not engaged by the first third of a blurb, they move on
* a headline has less than a second of a site visitor’s attention
* shorter paragraphs viewed more than longer ones
* larger images hold eyes longer than smaller ones
* clean, clear faces attract more viewing
* more faces draw more viewers
* people click on photos even though it’s not obvious it is a link
* on compact home pages, navigation is used more and advertising is viewed more, if placed effectively
* for ads, text ads read better than other types
* bigger ads viewed more
* ads in top and left positions viewed most.