Ascending Toward Links

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Posted on August 04, 2006 11:47 PM in Web Design
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

Techcrunch had an interesting post today about a company called Clickdensity that shows a visual heat map of where users are clicking on your website. That is interesting in and of itself, but I took something else away from the post.

In both the example image shown on Techcrunch and the one on Clickdensity, a majority of the heat corresponding to a particular link seems to appear on the bottom half of the target area. Granted, it would probably take a study of hundreds of other heat maps to come to any scientific conclusion, but based on these two examples one could conclude that users are more likely to approach a link from below than from above.

I've never really put much thought into it, but as you scroll down a web page you are moving downward, so it would make sense that a majority of your link clicks would come from below. Taking this into consideration, applications of Fitts' law, such as that of famed web designer Dave Shea, might take a more liberal approach to link padding on the bottom portion of link regions than the top.

Whether there's any scientific validity to my obvservation or not, it's certainly interesting to think about.

Comments

Sean on August 09, 2006 at 8:09 PM:

Makes sense to me. Usually a read through the whole page, and then go back and click on links that seemed interesting. So 9 times out of 10, I'm coming back-up to links.

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