Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Monday, June 19, 2006

It's F'ing Obvious.

When selecting a template for this blog, I deliberately sought one that archived material on the left since westerners read from left to right. Despite what high-price consultants might tell you, usability is based on commonsense observations like that.

Moreover, it is, I think, well established that people scanning webpages (or I imagine any page) do so via an F pattern so I wanted to keep the ignored right column free of clutter.

I was therefore fascinated to read the following sentence in this article to which I was directed via a throwaway link on Daisy's site.

"We are now seeing right-column blindness, where users do not see information and links down the right hand side of the screen. This occurs because the right hand column has become known for advertising."

Does this mean that Google will have to become more interruptive? Are there implications for the effectiveness of online advertising? I don't know yet, but I think that it's a hugely significant development.


Blogger kaylen said...

it's true. i've been designing web pages with text on the left for about four months now. just on a hunch. i even recently re-set my Word margins from extreme right to extreme left.

though i really prefer to have quite a bit of margin. so it's like a T , with the lower column just favouring the left. or the single column. tons of white space.

for example

9:35 AM, June 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Where is your RSS/XML subscribe button. You have opted for usable page layout but why do I constantly have to hunt for a text link or lovely orange RSS icon.

All the best.

12:01 PM, June 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've put my text on the left after several years of having a three column layout with navigation on the left and archives on the right.

Why? Because the browser on my Blackberry "breaks" blog layouts anyway, producing a horrible scroll-down of links and archives if laid out any other way.

1:54 PM, June 19, 2006  
Blogger john dodds said...


I'm not a true geek and so am finding my way on all this - I have a bloglines button which I thought counted as RSS but maybe I'm wrong on that. All advice on that front welcome.

3:40 PM, June 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have also replied to your email regarding this, but thought I would also respond to this:

"Does this mean that Google will have to become more interruptive?"

For the love of all that's holy and good, I hope they don't. Users are already disgusted by the advertising techniques that the New York Times have implemented on their site. They are intrusive and offensive. If Google implemented similar techniques, users would abandon them in droves.

Interruptive is not the way to go. Improve the search engine optimisation for your site, make sure the text that appears under your Google link is attractive and inviting and reassures the user that this is the right site to visit. Give them context and a clear reason to click on your link. It will increase your trustworthiness and credibility and THAT will get you eyeballs, NOT hideous popups and other intrusive methods.


7:06 PM, June 19, 2006  

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