I’m not a designer but I do participate in (usually quite vigorous ) discussions about how the pages on our sites should be laid out to make them most appealing to users. Having been working in this industry for over a decade now, I like to think my instincts are pretty good but that’s just what they are — instincts.
Today a colleague sent me a truly fascinating link, detailing research that’s been conducted into how people use web sites. They use eye-tracking technology to log exactly which parts of a series of (in this case, news-related) web pages the subjects look at, how often, and for how long. The observations are interesting and instructive, and there’s lots of detail about how they did it, what the results were and what conclusions they drew.