Even Now We Can Feel You Reading These Very Words

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There are focus groups and studies galore for nearly every tiny little thing in every single industries, but it never occured to this writer that, of course, there are people who analyze what you see when you read a layout. So that’s why when we found this rundown via Andy Rutledge on the work being down at Poynter, looking at how people’s eyes take in news design, we were utterly captivated. It’s a terrific read and something everyone internalizes without really ever actually openly thinks about. We talk about layouts and how design functions, but usually not at this level. Plus, the wonderful Designorati site, on which this appears, strips it down a bit and takes us through the research at a very clear level of comprehension. We will, however, mention that the text on this site is really small and gets hard to read after about the seventh paragraph. But maybe that’s just because we’re reading about the process of viewing. Here’s some:

If blurbs are combined with the headline, readers will spend more time reading and moving down through the headlines at the top of the page. Blurbs will encourage readers to quickly scan or read the headlines area. Since blurbs encourage readers to spend more time in this area of the page, blurbs also will encourage the reader to glance at the picture next to the headlines before glancing at other areas of the page, such as the flag.

When viewing headlines and blurbs, the majority of readers focus on the first inch or so of words on the left side, but may not read the entire headline or blurb. They often scan down the left side of the list of headlines and blurbs, as if they are scanning down a list of content. If the left side catches their interest sufficiently, they may spend the time to read the entire headline and blurb.