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Eye Tracking and the F-Pattern – What Designers Should Know

When crafting landing pages and other website assets – the value of eye tracking research and leveraging scan patterns like the F-Pattern layout is something I am ready to leverage!


content-heavy websites, designers must consider eye tracking patterns like the F-Pattern layout, scan paths, heat maps, gaze plots, visual hierarchy, conversion rate optimization, web page layouts, graphic design trends, user flow, user experience, user interface, typography, calls-to-action, click tracking, visitor behavior, information architecture, interaction design, design thinking, landing page elements, page composition, visual attention, focal points, image placement, advertising layouts, split testing, usability studies, landing page examples, ecommerce sites, product pages, app onboarding, website navigation, online customer journey, content sites, comprehension, analytics, performance indicators, key performance indicators, dwell time, cognitive overload, bounce rate, visitor metrics, design iterations, user data

What is Eye Tracking Research?


Now, eye tracking studies may sound highly scientific and intense. But the findings from this type of user research can greatly inform how we intentionally guide visitors to take action!


Here’s a quick overview of the core concepts: Sophisticated eye tracking technology allows researchers to track precisely where people look on a page, and in what order. The results consistently reveal clear unconscious patterns we follow when quickly scanning content.

One of the most universal patterns goes like this:

1️⃣ Scan straight across the top 2️⃣ Zig zag down the left side 3️⃣ Scan across again lower down

Look familiar? This common behavior looks remarkably like...an F!

And that my friends, is the infamous F-Pattern – a model for the way our eyes move in this rough F-shape when landing on pages with a lot of information fighting for our attention.

Why the F-Pattern Matters for Designers

So why should designers care?

Well, when creating landing pages, our end goal is guiding visitors to convert right? By leveraging where we know they’ll likely look first, second, third and so on, we can strategically place key info along that F-Pattern route!

This means intentionally crafting a strong visual hierarchy through layout, color contrast, typography scale and imagery. We lead the user’s gaze towards the primary call to action. Rather than confusing visitors by treating all elements equally (which causes cognitive overload and bounce rates to rise).

Applying the F-Pattern Beyond Landing Pages


To take things a step further, many platforms allow adding analytics to see exactly how users navigate and click on our live pages. We can then iterate page layouts and hierarchies based on that visit data - doubling down on placements that work.

Over time by combining general eye tracking principles with insights from our specific audiences, we make designs continually more intuitive and results-driven. Understanding core models like the F-Pattern sets designers up for ongoing wins.

I encourage all of you to explore implementing an F-Form approach on your next design project. Let me know if steering visitors along in this flow helps improve conversions, comprehension or any other metrics! I genuinely welcome your thoughts and takeaways.

 

If your brand could benefit from aesthetically-driven yet results-focused design, let’s connect! I’m always eager to infuse artsy creative ideas into analytics-powered systems. Shoot me a message to set up a conversation around taking your landing pages, e-commerce site or app UI to the next level through research-backed principles like the F-Pattern. I would love to collaborate!


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