Why Layout Matters on Your Website
The way people read printed material and websites is different.
The web offers an abundance of information. People are short on time and have little patience. Therefore, scanning content has become the way people engage online.
When we are reading something in print, we generally follow a “z-pattern”. We read the information from left to right. Then skip down a few lines and again read the information from left to right. Like a Z-shape.
However, when we are reading websites, the way we scan content is different.
In research carried out by Dr. Jakob Nielson, he discovered that people use a pattern that resembles an F-shape.
And here I want to share with you what he has discovered in his research:
First of all, F stands for fast.
Readers scan a website in a few seconds, and they use this F-shape pattern.
To start with, visitors first read in a horizontal movement. They read across the upper part of the content area. And this forms the top bar of the F.
Then, readers move down the page and again read across horizontally. This forms the lower part of the F.
Finally, readers scan the left side of the content in a vertical movement. This forms the stem of the F.
And how is this information helpful to you?
The take-aways from this research are:
People don’t read through the whole text word-by-word. People will rarely read every word within your copy. Instead, people SCAN sites. They pick up bits and pieces from your website.
You must show the most important information in the first two paragraphs. Here you have the greatest chance that people actually read the information.
Break up your text with headings, sub-headings, bullet points and formatting.
Make your headings descriptive and informative.
Create a path for your readers that they can follow. You need to give the reader signals that guide their eye. Take them on a journey to where you want to take them.
Write in short sentences and paragraphs. Those are much easier to take in than looking at a wall of text.
Lots of white space around the text is good. Think of it as breathing space for your text 😊
Would you like to know how you could improve your website?
Contact me today to arrange a 30-min call to see how I could help you create a website that coverts prospects to clients. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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