a weblog for readers and writers

Location: Baltimore-DC Area

Author who writes for a living and lives for writing. // WOMB: a novel in utero (Merge Publishing 2017) // TRACKS: A Novel in Stories (Atticus Books 2011) // FLIGHTLESS GOOSE, a storybook for children (Writers Lair Books 2008) // www.EricDGoodman.com

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

They're Watching Your Eyes

I spent all last week in New York City’s Time Square attending Neilsen Norman Group’s Usability Week 2010.

They presented interesting information about how people read on the Internet. Some of it was old news, stuff I’ve heard as far back as 2000 at “Writing for the Web” conferences: write for scanners, use bold and bullets. But to actually see the heat maps of where people’s eyes go when online was fascinating.

For example, people not only
scan when they’re online, but they tend to
hang out on the
left side of the page and, generally,
don’t even
read the
right side of the

But don’t worry,
you won’t
see me
succumbing to any
usability trends.

As always, Times Square was alive with people and lights and energy.
They tended to hang to the
right side

In Greenwich Villiage, they hung mostly to the left.

(That last line is invisible.)

Where are your eyes when you read online? Are you part of that margin that actually reads margin to margin?

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