So, you already know your company’s website is one of the most valuable players of your business, serving as the international face of your company. But, did you know its very design and content placement determines its success? Eye tracking research studies have shown how people look at websites. And, the findings are incredible!
Are you aware of the first thing your eye is drawn to on a website you visit? What is the pattern in which you scan a site? The answers to these questions matter and help determine the way in which a website is designed. At WebDrafter, we take all of this research into consideration when designing a new site. We’d like to share with you some of the most interesting facts about the way people view websites and how they influence the strategies we base our designs on.
- Visual Hierarchy
Did you know that people view websites in an F-pattern? Even though people are drawn to text; on average only 28% of the text is actually read. People begin scanning a page from the top left corner before moving down and reading the next full row of content all the way to the sidebar before scanning in a left-leaning vertical stripe pattern down the page and tapering off towards the bottom. This is a very top-heavy F which means it is important to have the most important information including your menu at the top or on the vertical left of the site. Basically, if you have something you absolutely must say, it better be at the top.
- Designing Above the Fold
This is an age-old design technique that’s been around since the creation of the newspaper, but today is related to the content that appears on a website. For a website, ‘above the fold’ or ‘above the scroll’ relates to content that a website visitor can view without needing to scroll down.
Our website designers always keep this in mind and design for the greatest impact.
- Fonts & Themes
Text attracts more than pictures so it is important to keep these key facts in mind when we are selecting font size and themes:
- Fancy fonts are ignored. Classic, common, easy-to-read fonts are always best.
- Bold attracts but overuse can muddy the effect.
- Headlines draw attention.
- Content Length & Placement
Since visitors can often completely ignore large chunks of text, it is important to get the most out of your site’s copy. Too much text or too little text can both negatively affect your website. Some additional facts about text we consider include:
- Dominant headlines draw attention.
- Lists are better at keeping your reader’s focus.
- Larger paragraphs can lose a visitor’s attention.
- Shorter paragraphs perform much better.
- White space is a good thing and can help a visitor focus on important content.
It is also important to remember that images and headlines alike are only reliable if they are interesting and engaging.
As we touched on in our previous post, when it comes to images on a site, it is important to include high-quality photography. Appearance can really be everything. Using crisp, large images can be a significant factor in drawing attention.
- People in pictures facing forward are more inviting and approachable than profile shots. And, did you know that people who look like models are less likely to draw attention than more ‘normal’-looking people?
- Small, fuzzy images are far less inviting than big beautiful ones. Whether they are landscapes or products shots; the bigger the better!
These are just a few of the major guidelines we consider when designing a new site. Have more questions about the site design process? Contact Us at WebDrafter and we will be happy to tell you all about it!