The Idea Dude


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Designing your blog to be remembered

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There is a great article on eyetracking research by Nielsen. As bloggers, we often take it for granted the impact of how we deliver our message. We sign up with a blog hoster, throw a couple of images and colors to our liking and if it's pretty, we'll get readers. Reality, most of us will never know what keeps readers coming back or whether they like the content. Here are some of their insights:

  • Rewrite + reformat = remember. Their recommendation, if there is a complicated post, use bulleted items, subheadings and tighter writing. The benefits are better comprehension and retention translating to happy readers, they spend less time reading, remember more and have a less frustrating user experience.
  • Precise and relevant editing. While images are great, ones that do not convey relevant information simply take up space and are seldom appreciated by the majority of readers.

The takeaway for me from this great article. It also has page hotspots showing where people spend their time looking. The left hand side by default (cultural?) seems to command the most attention. Users will read only two to three words of a headline. Replace graphics that do not contribute to the story with whitespace. Images with people and especially faces draw more attention than those that don't.

At the end of day, anything that makes it easy for a reader to decide whether he/she wants to spend more time on a particular post is good. In today's attention economy, less is more. Shorter and more frequent posts are better than long posts.

Given all this great information, I'd better listen and stop right here...


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