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When users first land on your web page, their eye path starts from the top left corner and moves across from the right. This is because (with the exception of perhaps traditional Asian and Arabic) people tend to read from left to right. 

People also tend not to read. This is evident by looking at Google search results; few people navigate past the first page. In fact few people even scroll past the first five results. Generally they scan through content and read in an L shape so it is important to place content in specific places based on its importance (again, look at where Google tends to place its ads).

If you are familiar with the Gutenberg diagram it describes the general pattern the eye tends to move through when looking at content.

So when designing for a website, it is important to have your logo or strapline at the top left. This immediately identifies you to your visitor.

Either a horizontal navbar along to the top or vertically on the left will be more accessible and people will be more likely to click past the first page.

There is a reason most modern responsive websites have those big hero banners across the top. It is because they are eye-catching and draw the user’s attention. They also often contain an important message or call to action.

Making the introductory paragraph or main title/heading a bigger, bolder font is more likely to be seen and therefore adds weight to its message.

Short, decisive sentences work better than long, drawn out paragraphs. I can’t stress this enough: People don’t read!

Use clear, high quality images. People like big, bright colours. The use of infographics or simple captions over images is more likely to be read than a boring paragraph of text. Again, people don’t read.

Remember; first impressions matter. It takes people a matter of seconds to make up their minds as to whether they like something. Getting it right on your website could mean the difference between gaining or losing business.

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Published on 05 February 2020 at 18:20:00

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