Performancing Metrics

Eye Tracking 101

Thanks to @problogger, I found out that Eyetrack III had released a study, a few years ago, that you might be interested in if you want to know how your readers are likely viewing your site.

During the study, they “observed 46 people for one hour as their eyes followed mock news websites and real multimedia content.”

The results are pretty interesting, and a bit surprising in a few places. They talk about the effects of homepage layout on how people read the content of the page, the best placement for images, using font size to increase reader focus and avoid having them quickly scan through text rather than reading it all, and even the effects to paragraph length on how/where people’s eyes drift around the page. It’s all pretty damn cool.

Especially important might be the results of what happens when people get to a break in the text (say, from an ad), that could cause some people to rethink the layout of their ads, and site in general. They actually go into pretty good detail about advertising. The study is worth checking out for that section alone if you run ads on your site.

There is also a bit about navigation placement that could help some sites struggling to get people to drill down into their site past the initial entry page.

All in all, if you want to learn a TON about how people are likely to be reading your blog, and get a lot of tips about how to control the flow of their attention, I’d highly suggest reading through the Eyetrack III study. It’s a bit lengthy, but it’s so packed with useful info that it’s well worth it.

Categories: Blogging Tips, Interesting

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  1. LSF says: 5/21/2009

    Eyetrack III is five years old – it hasn’t ‘just’ been released. However, some of the conclusions are still likely to be relevant.


    • David Peralty ) says: 5/21/2009

      Ah you’re right, I meant the Problogger article about it. It’s now corrected. Thanks.


  2. Michael Burns says: 6/3/2009

    Well written article. I really enjoyed it. Keep up the good work.


  3. mikeyaozm says: 9/20/2009

    to paragraph length on how/where people’s eyes drift around the page. It’s all pretty damn cool.