The Left Side of this Page Gets the Most Attention

Web users spend 80% of their time viewing the left half of the page and 20% viewing the right half.  This is according to new research from Neilsen Norman Group.

After updating 2010 research, the conclusion is that while the web has evolved since the last study, page-viewing patterns haven’t. These website design conventions are recommended:

  • Use conventional top navigation or left navigation formats.
  • Priority content should be front and center, keeping in mind that the right side of the page garners a lot less attention than the left, and that the very leftmost area should be reserved for navigation.
  • Keep secondary content to the right. It won’t be seen as much but not everything can get top billing.
  • If you do use the right side for content, ensure that people actually look there by increasing visual prominence.