I was talking to a networking friend on Wednesday and he told me he’d met a web expert who’d said the place everyone looked at on a web page was the bottom right hand corner.
I disagreed. And the reason was that I’ve seen eye tracking research and yet more eye tracking results from Jakob Nielsen’s company (Nielsen Norman Group) which show exactly where people look. His book, shown above, draws amazing reviews at Amazon. One reviewer who’s had a website since 2002 said,
“if you run a website, or have any say whatsoever in how your website is designed, this book is an absolute must read. That’s a “must” with 18″ bold Helvetica letters. And get your entire web team to read it, discuss it, and beta test their ideas using Nielsen’s and Loranger’s suggestions.
If it doesn’t pay off for you and you don’t think the book was worth it, just get a hold of me and I’ll buy the book from you. :-)
Oh — and the only reason I’m giving it five stars is because I can’t give it ten.”
The reviewer was getting 2-3 leads from his site (per month) it’s now up to 2-3 leads per day!
Nielsen is a widely acknowledged real web usability guru whose company specialises in practical experiments to check how us “normal” people really use web sites, blogs, ezines and more. And their eye tracking experiments conclusively show users look at a web page in an “F” pattern. Which almost invariably excludes the bottom right hand corner.
Anyway, with that cleared up and even though I’m on Nielsen’s mailing list I checked what else he had to say.
Email Blasts Through And Ends With a Whimper
Interestingly enough there was a link to the Sydney Morning Herald where one of his studies on emails is reviewed.
The study notes that often people don’t unsubscribe from newsletters as “it doesn’t feel good to sever the relationship”.
The latest study’s conclusion was that users have much more of a “what’s in it for me” attitude than the last time users where surveyed. Nielsen Norman has updated its study and concluded that the email target audiences are getting tougher. more people understand what spam is. And more of them use spam filters to remove unwanted email.
Users decide whether an email is worth reading even more quickly that in the last study are weighing up email messages in even less time, scanning rather than reading.
“In our first study, 23 per cent of the newsletters were read thoroughly. In our second study, two years later, only 11 per cent of the newsletters were read thoroughly,” (Nielsen Norman email study report).
Blogs Should Have Long Posts!
And although the previous study relates to email newsletters you can bet that the same applies to blogs. Does that mean the short and snappy over the long sale letter argument has been conclusively demonstrated on the web?
The answer of course, is no!
In fact another Nielsen study notes that if you want to become known as an expert you need to provide real, useful deep content that demonstrates your own expertise. And you can’t do that with a short blog posting. The reason being that you can’t provide anything useful in just two or three paragraphs.
What do you think Simon?