My proofreader's past poisons my life - I can't read cheap books and newspapers cause I pay too much attention to details of layout and formatting; that distracts me from the content. And more important - while making ppt's of presentations I usually kill my group by paying the attention to "unsufficient details". Like full stops in headings - I hate this and I have this hate in my proofreader's DNA.
Seth Godin just posted the list of eye tracking rules. Now I'm going to use them during my next arguments. Unfortunately, this doesn't solve the full-stop issue, but allows to avoid other discussions (as logo positioning and picture backgrounds).
Here is the list (in alphabetical order):
* Ads in the top and left portions of a page will receive the most eye fixation.
* Ads placed next to the best content are seen more often.
* Bigger images get more attention.
* Clean, clear faces in images attract more eye fixation.
* Fancy formatting and fonts are ignored.
* Formatting can draw attention.
* Headings draw the eye.
* Initial eye movement focuses on the upper left corner of the page.
* Large blocks of text are avoided.
* Lists hold reader attention longer.
* Navigation tools work better when placed at the top of the page.
* One-column formats perform better in eye-fixation than multi-column formats.
* People generally scan lower portions of the page.
* Readers ignore banners.
* Shorter paragraphs perform better than long ones.
* Show numbers as numerals.
* Text ads were viewed mostly intently of all types tested.
* Text attracts attention before graphics.
* Type size influences viewing behavior.
* Users initially look at the top left and upper portion of the page before moving down and to the right.
* Users only look at a sub headline if it interests them.
* Users spend a lot of time looking at buttons and menus.
* White space is good.
Seth Godin shortlist.
Visual hosting blog explanation.
My russian post and translation.