People don’t read they scan. A Nielsen study from the late 90s figured this out with some extensive user research. I know from my web browsing patterns for this to be a true statement.
I recently read an insightful article on the importance of scannability. Of the handful of points given these two caught my attention.
- Prioritize the content with visual hierarchy
- Use images and illustrations
Over the past year, our product team has set out to rebuild LexBlog.com. Our goal, to move away from a site that has all the usual trimmings (navigation, hero mast, subsections, footer) and toward an approach that places the focus on our network of attorneys and the content they are writing.
People rarely read Web pages word by word; instead, they scan
the page, picking out individual words and sentences.
To accomplish this redesign, we had to strip down the home page and start over. One of our goals was to improve the visual hierarchy as you move down the page. To create clear divisions of content from featured to specific channel highlights. Point one above caught my attention as it was a core focus for this redesign. Point two excited me as it speaks to the next iteration of LexBlog. To enhance the reading/scanning experience by adding imagery. Images add context to an article. Photos and illustrations attract attention and aid in a users ability to scan and find what they are seeking.
Below are some early ideas on reworking the feature section of our home page and lower sections.
Improved Top Featured Section
This cluster approach allows for better visual hierarchy by emphasizing a top story. The other features fall nicely in place on either side of the central column.
Adding a feature story to subsections
By adding a feature story with an image to each subsection we can provides additional visual elements that a user can quickly scan.
While these ideas are not fully developed, the potential is there to excite and create a buzz that drives us onward as we seek to build a site that aids in our goal to bridge the legal services gap between lawyers and consumers.