Everything You Should Know About Your Website Design and Eye Movements

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Eye movement is not an entirely new concept to many people in Singapore. In as much as it might not be a popular topic in digital marketing, it is vital. Looking at your website is the most straightforward interaction that users have with your site.

One of the most disregarded aspects of website design is eye movement. Web designers often put too much focus on making their websites look pretty through the addition of glamorous graphics and animations. Contrary to what you might think, these elements could end up distracting visitors from reading your text, which is the primary reason why they are on your site in the first place.

Rather than adding those intricate background images, glowing form fields, and drop shadows, you should dwell your attention on minimizing eye movement when visitors go through your site. This means that your pages ought to be laid out in a manner that makes it easy for visitors to pinpoint what they are looking for as soon as they land on your pages.

If visitors’ eyes dart too much without finding anything meaningful, they are likely to try finding that information elsewhere. A good website design should effectively satisfy the original purpose of having the site in the first place, which is to help users find relevant information. A website may look pretty, but users may still struggle to find info once they land on its pages.

Usability needs to be at the core of every web design project. Eye movement patterns form the basis of web page usability. This highlights why web designers in Singapore ought to know how to explore hot spot spots to minimize users’ eye movement.

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When building a website in Singapore, you should keep in mind the fact that how users look at your site has a weighty impact on the effectiveness with which the website communicates with them. Users’ eye movements influence readability, conversion power, and sharing among other factors. Here is what you should know about your site and eye movements.

Eye Movements are Known as Saccades

Technically, an eye movement is referred to as a saccade. This is a quick movement of eyes between fixation points. Users will view your site by the use of saccades. The eyes move through and take in information from websites in four different ways.


This is the rapid movement of eyes between different points on your website whenever users search for information.

Smooth Pursuit

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When you move your eyes to track one moving point without shifting your head, you are said to be in smooth pursuit. It is just the same way that you watch an airplane flying lowly with your eyes, but without moving the head.

Vergence Movement

Sometimes while browsing through websites, you find yourself focusing on different objects that are located on the same page but at different positions. This happens whenever you look through window screens. Often, you will focus on the screen and then on what is outside the screen. This is referred to as vergence movement.

Vestibulo-Ocular Movements

If you want to maintain eye contact with someone sitting in front of you, the eyes must not shift from his/hers even when you move your head to sip from a mug of coffee, for instance. Vestibulo-ocular movements entail keeping the eyes focused on a particular point even if you tilt your head.

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Almost all types of eye movement that you make when browsing through websites are saccadic since they entail shifting between two points. The presence of interactive elements such as a motion background, video, and GIFs on your website ensures a smooth transition and quick eye movements when viewing the details.

Indeed, if users are moving their heads, vestibulo-ocular movements will occur. Nonetheless, this doesn’t affect the way they process whatever information they see. Saccadic movements are the most critical method of informational intake. As a website owner or Internet marketer in Singapore, here’s what you need to keep in mind when planning for a website design project.

Fewer Saccades Make it Easy for Users to Remember and Retain Info

Whenever users shift their eyes to other fixation points on your website, a saccade is said to have occurred. If your site has a high number of saccades, it means that users have a lot of information to read, absorb, and retain. If they are looking at your website for the first time, they are likely to get overwhelmed because there will be too many things to look at.

Reddit is an excellent example of sites that are difficult to get into since its website design in particular the homepage comprises dozens of elements to fixate on. It is only after you have looked at the website for some time that you will pinpoint what you would like to fixate on. This is referred to as muscle memory.

As you repeat motor tasks more often, by even shifting your eyeballs, it becomes easier for you to repeat the initial effort in subsequent attempts. Once you have visited the site severally, you will know exactly what to look at. Muscle memory is perhaps the main reason why many people tend to object to sites that frequently adjust their layout.

Facebook is one of those companies that regularly change their layout. With every layout change on the social network, more attention-grabbing elements are added. Initially, many users find it hard to pinpoint what they are looking for. With time, however, it becomes easier for them to know where exactly they should look because the website design is user-friendly.

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If you want to ensure that users only focus on a few elements on your web page, you should design it in such a way that it will require few saccades to get information from it. By ensuring that only a few saccades are needed on your page, it will be easy for readers to absorb whatever information that you have posted there. Responding to CTAs will be equally convenient.

Elements that Guide Users’ Saccades

Even if your page requires a lot of saccades, you can direct visitors to things that you would like them to see. You can do this by creating a dominant focal point when designing your site. The design techniques that you can use include position, contrast, size, colour and any other differentiating characteristic that make the focal point to stand out.

In website design, dominance can be defined as the changing degree of emphasis in a website’s design elements. Dominance is epitomized on the Facebook homepage whereby whenever you log in, the first thing that you look at is the header. Nonetheless, the first saccadic stop is usually the little red numbers at the notification bar. Your attention will be attracted to them due to their visual dominance.

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It’s a fact that those red numbers are small. Nonetheless, they are arguably the most visually dominant elements on a user’s Facebook homepage due to their strategic location at the top part of the page. Similarly, the numbers are red and contrast sharply with the blue background. This means that a users’ attention will be automatically drawn to the notification bar as soon as they log into Facebook. Similarly, it will take a minimal number of saccadic movements for them to find what they are looking for.

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Whenever visitors land on your page, they use saccades to read the text. Internet users rarely fixate on every word since it will take them too long to read the text and absorb information. Often, they read using big and sweeping movements. When reading, the point at which users stop a saccade is known as the fixation point.

On average, most readers take in between 7 to 9 characters per saccade. Technically, it means that they won’t be reading every single letter, but they will still comprehend the text. Whenever a significant amount of text is presented to a user, you will be asking them to engage in dozens of saccades.

Needless to say, this is a daunting task that can make them fail even to read the first sentence leave alone the entire text. Unless you have the surety that your readers are prepared for such a demanding task, you need to present the text in a manner that minimizes the number of saccades required.

How to Minimize the Required Saccades in your Website Design

When you present text on your site, you need to ensure that short lines are used. Shorter lines require fewer saccades compared to longer lines. Therefore, they motivate users to intake more of the text.Likewise, ensure that the text is centrally positioned since , it will appear more attractive and easy to read. The incorporation of bullet points into your text is equally important since it enhances readability.

Whether you are a web designer, conversion optimizer, or digital marketer, you have total control over the way visitors look at your page. The positioning, text size, colour, and dominance of your text will have a significant impact on readability, shareability, conversion, and overall engagement of your website. The approach that you take towards  site conversion optimization needs to be influenced by users’ eye movement patterns.

Save time and money by hiring a team of professionals to optimize our website and enhance its usability. Get in touch with us today for more details about our website design and digital marketing services in Singapore. 




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About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Social Media




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