Good web design is in the eye of the beholder, part 2

Continued from part 1

Based upon Jakob Nielsen’s findings on the F-shaped pattern, here are some rules of thumb to consider when designing a website:

1. The most important messaging and navigation on a page should appear in the upper left-hand corner, starting with a site’s branding and flow from left to right. If a user has to scroll down a page to view content, there’s a good chance you’ll lose their attention before they get there.

2. Place strong visuals higher on the page and to the right if possible. A triangular positioning of images or graphical callouts staggered vertically can help draw a reader’s attention down a page if you are forced to place content “below the fold.”

3. The use of white space on a web page is not a bad thing. It makes text easier to read and graphics and images stronger navigational elements.

Recognizing the prevailing F-shaped reading pattern is important whether your site is retail or information driven. If ignored, you risk having the most significant content on your website overlooked. In that case, even the most beautifully designed site can receive an “F” when it comes to usability.

– Steve Iaconis

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