How to use the science of eye tracking to make the most of your print projects

9/29/2014

Making a flyer, report, or even a business card isn’t just about what you say or show, but rather where you place your content.

Research shows there is a science behind how humans read pages of information and data. Below are some findings to help you make the most of your design and print projects.

The Words:

People don’t read whole pages, but rather briefly scan a document (probably like you are doing right now). Make sure your main message is simple and clear, including titles to capture people’s attention.

The Placement:

Studies show that the very first place people look is the top left hand corner. Make sure you put something significant here such as a logo or tag line. From there, we read in a Z pattern across the page, looking at the bottom right hand corner last. Consider this when deciding where to place text and pictures.

The Eye-Catcher:

Not too surprisingly, we as humans are attracted to other human’s faces. Putting a face on a print project can help draw people’s attention. Just be careful of it becoming too distracting. When adding a face to a design, think about the reason you want your audience to look there.

The Hero-Shot:

A ‘hero-shot’ is the image of your product looking its best. To maximize the science of eye-tracking, place your hero-shot to the left of a page, since we’re more inclined to look there first. From there our eyes will scan to the supplementary text on the right. People also tend to leave a page sooner when the image is on the right.

Don’t forget to take into account the medium you are using. People will obviously take longer to study a report rather than a flyer they are handed at an event. Keep these tips in mind on your next print project to get the most out of your message. 

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