I’m going to be totally honest with you. I got mad the moment I found out about this F-Shaped Pattern. Deep down, I felt that creativity and improvisation were losing relevance and space in the online world. But then, cold-headed, I started thinking logically. I told myself: “Luis: if you know that this is your readers’ reality, embrace it and use it in a way that benefits us all”.
That’s why in this article you’re going to learn what the F-Shaped Pattern is and how it can determine the success or failure of your blog or website.
If you have read another post from The Freenancial Exposed Blog, you know I’m not a theoretic person. I’d prefer to gather the necessary information and pick the key aspects. So, in short, this is what this article is about:
- What is the F-Shaped Pattern?
- How could the Pattern define the results of my blog?
- Tips to improve your blog using the F-Shape Pattern
WHAT IS THE F-SHAPED PATTERN?
The F-Shaped Pattern, just as its name indicates, is the shape of the pattern in which most readers look over a website or a blog post. You can see in the image above, the “heat maps” showing where are people looking when they are reading. That picture belongs to the original study conducted by Nielsen Norman Group. They recorded over 200 people reading certain websites, and they concluded that, in most cases, people follow an F-Shaped Pattern.
As shown. The reader starts in the top left side (1), then moves horizontally to the right (2). After that, goes down in the left side and stops in point (3). Moves forward to the right a little bit but not till the right border (4). And so on.
Of course, this pattern isn’t the only one. Besides, in a more recent study conducted again by Nielsen Norman Group, they demonstrated that there are many others. For instance, they mention this in reference to a more frequent pattern on mobile:
“The Marking pattern involves keeping the eyes focused in one place as the mouse scrolls or finger swipes the page, like a dancer fixates on an object to keep balance as she twirls. Marking happens more on mobile than on desktop.” – Nielsen Norman Group.
However, they maintain that, generally, the F-Shaped Pattern is the most frequent one and, because of that, it’s important to know a couple of things:
- How could it affect your blog or website?
- What can you do to improve your blog by using this pattern?
HOW COULD THE PATTERN DEFINE THE RESULTS OF MY BLOG?
Imagine this: You come up with a fantastic idea for your readers but you’ve decided to do a “progressive” post. You want to do it slowly, giving them a few hints that will lead them to an end with all the high-quality content. What may happen if you do so? Well, your reader could feel like he’s not receiving valuable information at the beginning, and may lose interest after reading the first two lines.
Website readers don’t read, they scan. Besides they don’t behave the same as when reading a book. They’re in a rush and they also have a lot of available offers that are just one click away. So, if you don’t add quality content where the reader places their sight, you’re going to lose him. Forever.Website readers don't read, they scan. - Luis Gil. Click To Tweet
TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR BLOG USING THE F-SHAPED PATTERN.
As mentioned before, we must make things easy for our readers. If we ask for an additional effort that gets them out of this F-Shaped Pattern, it’s possible that they won’t stand it. For that purpose, I’m going to share with you a few tips to facilitate your post to be read.
- Make a long story short. Avoid all the unnecessary content.
- Use bullets and lists. Following the previous point, to organize and enumerate a paragraph in a list helps to capture the information in a shorter space of time.
- The introduction is key. Capture the reader’s attention so that he reads the whole article. 7 blog post introduction you can be proud of.
- Organize the information throughout the article. A template may help. The best blog post template (after making a lot of mistakes).
- Use headings and subheadings. They have to stand out over the rest of the text, consequently choosing the right font for each section is important.
- Use “catchy” headings and subheadings. Remember that the reader fixates in the first words, so take advantage of that to capture his attention in that section. This article may be helpful for you: One trick to create a catchy article title.
- Group together small amounts of related content — for instance, by surrounding them with a border or using a different background.
- Use Bold text to draw the reader’s attention into important phrases or words inside paragraphs.
FINAL TIP: Remember the article has to be seen as a whole, not as a combination of sections and strategies that make no sense. This information may help to have a clear view of it: How to create a great blog post
HAVE YOU BEEN BEATEN BY THE F-SHAPED PATTERN? WHAT STRATEGIES DO YOU HAVE? Share it in the comment section or tell us on the contact page.
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