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Crucial Research: What People See When Using News Websites

The Poyneter Institute just released their new study, Eyetrack III: What We Saw When We Looked Through Their Eyes, that reports in detail what people see when using news web sites.

The report is free and I strongly urge everyone to study it in-depth. I just started reading it yesterday and plan to spend quite some time with it.

What is this research about anyway?

As the institute states:

"News websites have been with us for about a decade, and editors and designers still struggle with many unanswered questions: Is homepage layout effective? ... What effect do blurbs on the homepage have compared to headlines? ... When is multimedia appropriate? ... Are ads placed where they will be seen by the audience?

The Eyetrack III research released by The Poynter Institute, the Estlow Center for Journalism & New Media, and Eyetools could help answer those questions and more. Eyetracking research like this won't provide THE answer to those questions. But combined with other site metrics already used by news website managers -- usability testing, focus groups, log analysis -- the Eyetrack III findings could provide some direction for improving news websites.

In Eyetrack III, we observed 46 people for one hour as their eyes followed mock news websites and real multimedia content."

Instead of listing their results here I'd really like to encourage you to read them on their web site ... and do read the entire report. It's well worth your time.

Click here!

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