18

Background

I am designing a website for my software development business and I am struggling a bit with the layout.

I offer three main services/products:

  • Software Development
  • Process Improvement Consulting
  • Developer Productivity Tools

At our core, we are a software development company, so I want the users eyeballs to naturally fall to that first.

Question

If I am laying out three big icons horizontally on the landing page to represent each of my three services, should I place "Software Development" in the center or on the left?

In the center seems natural, but my target audience reads from left to right, so I don't know if left will be better.

29

Generally (always a scary word in UX discussion), the user will browse a page in roughly the following way

  1. Skip the header,
  2. Flick their eyes across the title
  3. Track any "Content-y" images left to right
  4. Scan down the top half of the left most column of text

There's definitely a left-side bias compared to the right when it comes to images, but left and centre both get decent amounts of eye-time. For example the below image shows eye tracking on what sounds like a similar concept to your own.

Eye tracking of a "web services" sales website

(Source: EyeQuant)

  • 4
    Does the left-right bias reverse in sites with RTL language content? (eg, Arabic, Hebrew) – sq33G Jan 20 '15 at 13:27
  • 1
    I don't know :( I'd be interested to see the results if you do find some though. My assumption would be yes but I've got no evidence or experience to back that up – Jon Story Jan 20 '15 at 14:13
7

A Five Second test. test can help inform you not just about where your users look but about what they comprehend, and therefore whether or not the particular page you're testing is effective at achieving your objective.

In a Five Second test, you show a page to users for...5 seconds and then hide the page. Then, you ask them to say or write down what they remember about the page.

It's a simple process, but can help you evaluate whether or not a given page is succeeding, which seems like the determination you're ultimately trying to make when asking about where users look.

2

Depends on the screen and your approach.

Center is the logical choice for big screens, with left being the second best. But if you're building a responsive site, your left option will become the top one on mobile, and maybe even the only one your site visitors will see, so I'd add the more important option on the left and if needed, make it stand out by size, shape or color. You can also build a pattern and break it with your more important service.

In short, you have several options, but in the end you'll need to test and see which one works better

2

My first point of focus is probably a search box. I might ignore it if I'm hitting the result of a web search, though, as I have already completed that aspect and expect the current page to adequately present me with the reason I clicked.

I want to know:

  • Why am I here on this site?
  • What's the most important thing for me to know to get to why I need to be here?
  • I don't care what your brand name is, but it should have something to do with the URL. OK, you need to tell me, but give me the content.
  • Is there anything else that's interesting relative to why I hit this web page?
  • If I'm going to buy something from you, make it super easy to know what it takes for me to purchase from you. If you don't give prices, explain why and don't make me work for it.
  • If you're not going to sell to me directly, make it real easy to know from whom I should purchase.

But how does this matter for where I put my logo/point of interest?

If it matters, mimic someone you respect. Consider randomizing your order of images on the page. Get analytics involved. Note that what you think is important may not be what's important to the visitor.

0

If the page loads quickly it will be where the cursor was on the last page.

So if found from google etc then somewhere in the centre.

If they cut and pasted or wrote in the URL field then the top of the page.

Otherwise where the link was - I suspect this would not be the top as current design seems to put the menu of a site at the top and so an external link would not be at the top.

So in general you don't have control of this

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.