One general rule and the “F” pattern

Last week I had some laughs browsing the gallery of bad design choices featured on Boing Boing. What makes humor the byproduct of bad design? Like in any joke: misunderstanding, poor communication. That means that the essence of any good design is good communication.
Well performed information exchange. Designers should be able to pass on all the necessary information while adding even more in a discrete and subtle way. And when I say more, I mean more positive and relevant information. Not that one can’t spell, or can’t come up with a fresh idea. In that case less information is much preferable.

Designing for web, means designing in time. Having in mind that the recipient may skip and skim and leave your page before he had a chance to see all that important stuff. That means that alongside all the other rules of good communication design, one must follow the rule of designing for inpatient public. There’s a simple rule mentioned on Shortie Design (alongside 9 other handy principles):

Eye tracking studies have identified that people scan computer screens in an “F” pattern. Most of what people see is in the top and left of the screen and the right side of the screen is rarely seen. Rather than trying to force the viewer’s visual flow, effectively designed websites will work with a reader’s natural behaviour and display information in order of importance (left to right, and top to bottom).


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