Friday, 25 July 2008


As a male of the human species, I am profoundly disquieted by the findings of eyetracking studies carried out to measure the attention paid by site visitors to various areas of given webpages.

Before you click (with gay abandon) upon the above link, I should warn you that the article in question could itself be written and laid out with considerably greater attention to usability and reader appeal. That it has not been I take, naturally, as deliberate irony.

So I'll summarise. Basically, on the internet, people like clear, sparse, to-the-point prose.

(Basically, I'm screwed.)

Scientists (you know, Scientists ...) use eyetracking to measure the time for which site visitors' eyes rest on each area of a given page. The results of their experiments show which areas of a site are focused upon - and which are ignored.

All very interesting. If you design sites, it's certainly worth reading the full shebang.

If not, though, may I direct you simply to one section of the article, near the end. I'll quote the relevant part, magnanimous blogger that I be, to save you that scrolling.
When photos do contain people related to the task at hand, or the content users are exploring, they do get fixations. However, gender makes a distinct difference on what parts of the photo are stared at the longest. Take a look at the hotspot below.
Although both men and women look at the image of George Brett when directed to find out information about his sport and position, men tend to focus on private anatomy as well as the face. For the women, the face is the only place they viewed.
Male readers: any comments?

And, with the nonchalance that only true scientific impartiality can muster, the article goes on:
Coyne adds that this difference doesn’t just occur with images of people. Men tend to fixate more on areas of private anatomy on animals as well, as evidenced when users were directed to browse the American Kennel Club site.
Now, I really didn't want to know that.

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