Monday, June 05, 2006

F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content


[Tags: , ]. On paper it's from top left to bottom right, but online it seems we read differently: an F-shaped pattern according to Jakob Nielsen (image is from his site) who sums up the implications as follows:
  • Users won't read your text thoroughly in a word-by-word manner. Exhaustive reading is rare, especially when prospective customers are conducting their initial research to compile a shortlist of vendors. Yes, some people will read more, but most won't.
  • The first two paragraphs must state the most important information. There's some hope that users will actually read this material, though they'll probably read more of the first paragraph than the second.
  • Start subheads, paragraphs, and bullet points with information-carrying words that users will notice when scanning down the left side of your content in the final stem of their F-behavior. They'll read the third word on a line much less often than the first two words.

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