F-shaped Reading Pattern

Jakob Neilsen has posted research results on the reading patterns of web users confirming something I suspected from my own use of the web, and justifies much of the design I've made for this blog and my web pages.

People who browse the web (and, in my experience, those who browse emails) quickly scan the first two paragraphs horizontally, followed by a quick vertical scan of the left. This must be why I was bothered by having the strip on the side of my content on the left. I lke it much better on the right. On the left it was distracting. For web applications it makes sense to have the toolbar on the left, but most of the time I'd like the margin to be clean.

Also, when I reply to an email I prefer to have a single paragraph of what came before with my response, preferably in a single paragraph, below it. Some people think I'm terse and gruff, but I like to think my email style is quick and to the point. I also don't go for elaborate signatures and I like to trim away as much as possible of previous emails in the thread, reducing my missive to the relevant context.

Josh Poulson

Posted Thursday, Apr 20 2006 07:25 AM

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Posted Thursday, Apr 20 2006 01:04 PM

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