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The Importance Of Layout In Web Design And Development

     How a page is laid out can be extremely important to Web design and development. In fact, how content on a page is laid out can make it much easier for viewers to find the most important content on the website.

Jakob Nielson did a study in 2006 that researched how people look at websites by tracking the movement of their eyes. It showed that they do this in a basic "F" shape by starting at the top left and scanning to the right at the top part of the page and then mostly scanning down the left side on the rest of the page.

This shows the most important areas are the top of the Web page and the left side of the Web page. The upper left-hand corner is the highest priority. This should be where you have your company logo and any motto or other information that informs the viewer what the site or page is about.

The study also showed how people don't necessarily read everything on a Web page, but tend to scan over everything and occasionally stop on certain words, especially longer words, that catch their attention, such as words that are different colors because they are a part of a link and words that are bolded.

When you have the most important key words for your content in the highest priority areas for your layout, such as the top and left-hand sides of the layout, then people are more likely to find what they were searching for when they clicked on to your website to begin with.

Another think to remember is that the content should never be centered. This makes it difficult for people to view the content as they are used to scanning down the left-hand side of the page.

Also, make sure the most important content is "above the fold." This is an old newspaper term, which refers to everything things on the top half of the newspapers front page, which would be visible when the newspaper was folded. For websites, this refers to whatever is visible when someone first clicks on the page, so everything that is in the first screen of content.

You'll want to keep the "F" shape in mind for people that will view your page on their smartphones or tablets, which will provide less room for the top and left-hand side of the page.

If you are wanting to make it easy to navigate on the website, then the best places for menus and links to other web pages on the site is at the top or on the left-hand side. This way, people will find what they are looking for much quicker.

For advertisements on your website, you can give priority to the ads that are at the top (banner ads) or on the left-hand side. These places can be given higher prices or given to your most loyal advertisers.

If you feel like you need professional help to design your website, there are professional Web design and development companies available that can make sure you have the ideal layout to maximize the viewing experience for your customers.

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Posted on 2013-04-10, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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