The Best of Eyetrack III: What We Saw When We Looked Through Their Eyes (08 Sep 2004)
While testing our participants' eye movements across several news homepage designs, Eyetrack III researchers noticed a common pattern: The eyes most often fixated first in the upper left of the page, then hovered in that area before going left to right. Only after perusing the top portion of the page for some time did their eyes explore further down the page.
Depending on page layout, of course, this pattern can vary. The image above is a simplistic representation of the most common eye-movement pattern we noticed across multiple homepage designs. (In other words, don't take what you see above too seriously.)
Now also consider another Eyetrack observation: Dominant headlines most often draw the eye first upon entering the page -- especially when they are in the upper left, and most often (but not always) when in the upper right. Photographs, contrary to what you might expect (and contrary to findings of 1990 Poynter eyetracking research on print newspapers), aren't typically the entry point to a homepage. Text rules on the PC screen -- both in order viewed and in overall time spent looking at it.
Article URL: http://www.poynterextra.org/eyetrack2004/main.htm
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