People only look at the pretty pictures

Doctor Q

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Sep 19, 2002
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A report on a study of web surfer behavior, along with suggestions on how it might influence good web design:

Are Your Visitors Seeing What You Think?
Unlike printed pages, Web pages tend to be viewed by vistors for only a handful of seconds. During those seconds, people glance at a few words in the headline (but not all of the words), look at any images and captions on the page, and then make a snap decision about whether or not the page is worth looking at any further.
It's not earth-shattering news, but the column isn't long and it's worth reading -- not just looking at the pictures!
 

munkle

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Aug 7, 2004
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CanadaRAM said:
This may mean that we web developers have to use ... gasp... fewer pictures, and place more emphasis on ... egad... relevent content... the horror... !
The thing that comes across for me with the article is how irrelevant content (the actual words) is to the whole thing. Quality might keep them coming back but it's a whole different ball game to get them to read the stuff in the first place. Interesting article.
 

Josh

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2004
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CanadaRAM said:
This may mean that we web developers have to use ... gasp... fewer pictures, and place more emphasis on ... egad... relevent content... the horror... !
I thought the article was pointing out just the contrary.

Put your important "points" into eye-catching, meaningful images, and you will have a better site than one tha 'explains' those points in lengthy words.

The whole idea of design is to say more with less. Good imagery is the best way to accomplish that.
 

zelmo

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Jul 3, 2004
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Hmmm...I went to read the article, but the site was too damn fugly (and that picture!...*shudders*). If the page had been designed to catch the eye rather than horrify, I might have read the content. :)
 

zelmo

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2004
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jimsowden said:
First thing I noticed:
Exactly my point. If that had been a picture of Jennifer Garner in a red bustier, I might have lingered long enough to read the headline, maybe even the first paragraph of the article. :D
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
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Yes, it does seem ironic that this article is from a site whose home page looks like this:

 

Blue Velvet

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Jul 4, 2004
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"Unlike printed pages, Web pages tend to be viewed by vistors for only a handful of seconds. During those seconds, people glance at a few words in the headline (but not all of the words), look at any images and captions on the page, and then make a snap decision about whether or not the page is worth looking at any further."


Have to disagree about the printed pages bit. It depends on what kind of printed page you're talking about... the second part of this statement could easily fit your average British tabloid.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
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Good article. Thanks for bringing it up. I have bookmarked it for future web designs. Some people would pay $500 just to learn about some of the data presented in the article.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
Josh said:
I thought the article was pointing out just the contrary.

Put your important "points" into eye-catching, meaningful images, and you will have a better site than one tha 'explains' those points in lengthy words.

The whole idea of design is to say more with less. Good imagery is the best way to accomplish that.
The point I was trying to make, humorously, is that the content has to be relevant. WAAY to much graphic area on web pages is generally devoted to space filling eye-candy that communicates nothing about the content of the page. Lifestyle photos that bear only a theoretical connection to the goods or services offered, nicely shadowed borders and color ramps that swoosh artistically across the page, etc. are mostly irrelevant to the message of the page.

The whole idea of design is to communicate your message. Thoughtful use of words and graphics is the best way to accomplish that.
 
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