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How people scan web pages

The usability consultancy UIE conducted an eyetracking study to find out how people scan a typical three column web page layout.

Some major findings:
- The users usually scanned in the centre area first, then the left area and then the right column
- The users would only investigate the left and right column when looking for additional information
- The users quickly learned to look where they would expect to find relevant content and avoid areas which was unimportant to their current task, such as banner ads
- The users would only re-evaluate their scan strategies when they detected changes in the layout of pages
- The users where able to determine if surrounding content was relevant before looking directly at it, suggesting that peripheral vision plays a central role in the interaction with the web pages
- Ads attracted users only when they related to the current task

Links:

  • The article Testing Web Sites with Eye-Tracking Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 21, 2003

See also: Research (128)  Web page design (39)  Eye-tracking (14) 

 

COMMENTS

The listed link to the UIE article is 404, but the article can still be found at http://www.uie.com/articles/eye_tracking/

Jon Ashley | July 03, 2006

 

Thanks Jon! The adress is corrected.

Henrik Olsen | July 04, 2006

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