Eye-Tracking Studies: A Closer Look

As an ecommerce business operating within a highly competitive industry, attention-grabbing content can really give your organisation an edge. Therefore, when designing a website, it’s natural that design agencies will use attention-grabbing design methods. But what really captures audience attention?

Many web design agencies will gravitate towards the use of capital letters to highlight a FREE demo; they might place important information close to the image of a face; they may use an extra large font. However, while these can attract attention, they don’t always necessarily draw the eye quite as much as we may think. In fact, eye-tracking software firm Eyequant has found these methods to be unsuccessful.

Where Do Audiences Look?

Eye-tracking studies are becoming more and more popular, highlighting those areas of web design that really appeal to an audience. This allows web design companies like Mi Web Design an opportunity to create the most effective ecommerce websites for optimal usability, as well as optimal performance.

One of the biggest takeaways from eye-tracking studies is that users typically scan web content in an F-shaped pattern; along the top first, down and along the middle, and finally to the bottom down the left side of the website. Identified by the Nielsen Norman Group, the F-shape pattern is both good and bad.

* The Good: The pattern is pretty standard and easily identified, which means that websites can be designed with this concept in mind, placing valuable information in the right positions.

* The Bad: The pattern itself isn’t great for content marketing. It means that only the first lines of text, and the first few words of selected lines, are prioritised and absorbed by the reader.

However, there is good news. As a leading web design company, the experts here at Mi Web Design can work to design ecommerce websites that can successfully throw this F-pattern off its game.

Here are 3 ways we can use eye-tracking studies to our advantage, working to ensure that websites are designed in a way that'll boost the visibility of the brand’s most important and valuable content:

  1. Authoritative Headings

Contrary to popular belief, research shows that text draws more attention than graphics. In fact, of the first 3 aspects a user looks at, 78% of them are text-based, showing the importance of written info.

  1. Bullet Points

If we consider that most content is scanned, not thoroughly read, list-based information makes sense. However, eye-tracking studies show that bullet point lists draw more attention than non-bullet lists.

  1. Action Words

As we touched on above, a large font and capitals don’t always have a great deal of impact. What tends to draw the eye more are words that encourage users to take action: ‘click’, ‘go’, ‘visit’, ‘more’, and so on.