And F is for … Website, wait? what?

You know this already…but you may not know that you know it.  There is a strict path that 90% of people’s eyes follow when viewing a website.  If a website knows what this path is then it can appeal to the users and has a much higher chance of keeping its visitors.

The Good

This path is known as the F.  Next time you have a look at a website you like or a well established one, have a look and see if you can spot the common theme.  Now you know what you’re looking for it will become clear.  All of the key information that the website want you to pay most attention too will be in that Capital F shape.  See Below:

Amazon

Note how the red F highlights the key information

Amazon just happened to be the first website i clicked on and thought it was as good as any to demonstrate this fantastic bit of customer psychology.  I have yet to meet a person who does not like Amazon’s website. (I’m sure there are some out there…Most probably work for eBay)  This outlook on web design is key to web usability and if you can master this you can almost guarantee more and longer visits on your website.

The Bad = The Ugly

Now the website i am going to put a link to next should come with a warning.  This web design may cause involuntary vomiting due to its god awful layout.  Now you could expect this from a young web designer trying to start out in the world-wide web…but no, this website is from the Natural Science Institute in Indiana, USA.  They should know better, take a look at the image below:

 

bad bad bad design

yuk...nasty

If you want to see the bad-ness in all its glory and are a true glutton for punishment please copy this link into your address bar: http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/

 

So there is a basic fundamental of a good website, this is just one step and there are plenty of other things you need to get right for a website to be ‘good’ or at least eye-catching.  I am also writing a post about colour do’s and dont’s in web design which will be up shortly.

 

So remember when building a website, don’t leave the F out.

GA, GE and GN

Dave

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