I'm remembering a usability study I once saw that demonstrated it's better for scanning or readability on a website's news article or text-heavy page to have any photos as their own row by themselves, rather than pinched into a column with text wrapping around it.

Text wrapping around the image was kind of a legacy pattern from print magazine design.

Like this: compare and contrast

Like how most major news publishers do it.

But now I can't find the study that showed that.

Does anyone have any studies that describe what I'm talking about? I don't want to justify by merely saying "that's how NYTimes does it".

1 Answer 1


I don't know of any study, but there are obvious reasons for the use of one type and another.

The main one: a printed publication has limitations in terms of space due to page size and pages quantity, a web page does not, which makes it totally unnecessary to insert images in the middle of the text.

These limitations mean that in printed publications the designer looks for a way to intersperse images between the text with graphic resources such as bleeding images, cutouts, wrapping, background images. It's a graphic solution in printed publications, it's a tool to solve the lack of physical space that can also be something decorative. On a website, they become purely decorative. If the relevant point is functionality, it makes no sense to insert images between the text in general websites.

The exception is some components within the website. For example, if the website has product cards and they are all the same size, the amount of text can determine the location of the images within the card.

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