It is always difficult to determine what impact your site has on users, new or returning. Whether it’s negative or positive, you will never know until you do some research and test it out on your site. Yet, research and testing can sometimes be unfeasible in terms of time and resources. Luckily for you, I have wrangled some generic statistics together and analysed them to create the perfect website formula for better user experience and user interface design.
1. Top left is best.
Out of all the space on your entire site, the top left-hand corner is the space where users first look. According to an eye-tracking study, a user’s eye path starts here. So it is imperative that you use this space to maximise your website’s potential. For instance, put your company logo and slug line here. This way users will know; who you are; what it is that you do and have an insight into your company’s personality. This ticks the first box of a better user experience; communicate your basic business attributes.
2. People read in “F”s.
I use the term “read” lightly here as most users just scan a website. However, through another study, it became clear that the way users scan a content page is in an “F” shape. The further they look down the page the less they scan across. To make sure that your most valuable content is seen you should position it in this way. Make sure you put the most vital content along the top of the page. Also, the use of short bullet points is encouraged to adhere to the “F” shaped reading pattern. This will give your content more of a chance of being seen.
Like the top left corner rule, the left-hand side of your pages will get scanned more than the right. This is because the users gaze will fall naturally upon this side first. Additionally, many people, on average, read from left to right. Always put content on the left-hand side of the page. This will ensure that your content is read more.
It is universally known that you should steer clear of copy-heavy pages when designing your website. In total, only 28% of the text is actually read. Internet users want to get to the information that is relevant to them as fast as possible. Opt for shorter paragraphs instead. This will also help put in place the “F” pattern rule and left-hand side rule too.
This is a clever way to increase engagement across your website. Don’t just place any old image by your call-to-actions. You should place an image that forces the users to focus on the said call to action. For example, if you had a man holding a megaphone, you would place your call to action by the end of the megaphone. This is a proven way to increase engagement.
Research has indicated that a user’s gaze is fixed on headlines more so than images. This is because they can receive more information from text. So instead of cramming your home page with a large image carousel opt for a bold heading instead.
The old, ancient myth of only placing the call to actions above the fold is completely false. Do not rely on your content above the fold to do all the heavy lifting. Many tests have shown that users have no problem scrolling down past the fold and looking at content. So don’t be afraid to place your precious content and call to actions below the fold. Too many call-to-actions and content above the fold can look too disorganised and cramped.
If you want to do more reading around eye-tracking studies here are my favourite articles on user experience testing below:
I hope this will help you improve your user experience on your sites. Happy designing!