Reading Gravity Helps Layout

Jul 24,2015
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The eye has a natural tendency to scan in the direction of reading. This has led classic design to favor a layout where elements are arranged in the same direction as reading a paragraph. For English speakers (and several world language groups, of course), headlines and copy would begin in the upper left-hand corner of the webpage. Similarly, the company’s logo and brand elements would appear in the upper left-hand corner of the website framing the content below. A user’s eye will move in a Z pattern following a left-to-right and top-to-bottom path along the page. An effective web layout will exploit this tendency and place the most important headlines and copy in the upper left-hand corner. Images supporting the copy can be placed in the upper right-hand and lower left-hand corners to fill out the page (remember not to use too much copy). Even though this technique was developed for print layouts, it is still a useful way to design website layouts as well as reading itself still follows the same principles.

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