What could two random letters of the alphabet possibly have to do with web design? It’s pretty simple: they’re just visual representations of the way a person’s eyes trace a website. They may not stand for anything (although you’re free to make something up), but they’re still very helpful to know as you design a website for your business. 

What is the Z-Pattern?

The Z-Pattern is a web design format that is meant to direct the path of the reader’s eyes as they look at a website. Using this format, a person’s eyes go from the top left to the top right, then diagonally to the bottom left and across to the bottom right. Your most important information should follow the “Z”: your company name, subpages, contact information, and so on. That way, the viewer is more likely to take action on your website.

What types of web pages benefit most from the Z-Pattern?

Typically, the Z-Pattern is good for emphasizing a few key elements; as a result, this pattern is better for simple designs with less information to cover. This isn’t always the case. You can extend the Z to more of a zig-zag, and the reader’s eyes will still follow a similar path. If you’re trying to get more clicks, though, less information will serve you better with this layout.

Why should you use the Z-Pattern in your web design?

This pattern will be most beneficial to you if you’re trying to get more people to click to join your mailing list or utilize an online service you’re offering. Additionally, if you have a few key elements to emphasize about your business, the Z-Pattern will assist with that. If this sounds like something you’re looking for, then the Z-Pattern is probably for you! If your website is a bit more wordy, you may be more apt to choose the F-Pattern.

What is the F-Pattern?

The F-Pattern is a format for web design which is based on scientific studies. It differs from the Z-Pattern in that it doesn’t force the reader’s eyes to go anywhere; the F-Pattern conforms to the natural way a viewer looks at a website. This pattern states that readers’ eyes gravitate towards the top left and left side of the website and rarely travel to the right side. 

What types of websites benefit most from the F-Pattern?

Websites with a lot of content or blog posts benefit greatly from the F-Pattern, so long as the titles are bold and eye-catching. The F-Pattern encourages readers to scan the content of the page, so it’s vital that you’re making efforts to drive clicks and engagement with your content. 

Why should you use the F-Pattern in your web design?

The F-Pattern is great for following what the readers’ eyes naturally want to do, so it makes your page easy to read. By not being too complicated, you’re saving your audience from having to try too hard to understand what your website is all about. If this pattern becomes too predictable, though, the reader will likely lose interest. That’s why it’s a great idea to throw a curveball at your audience: throw in an element that doesn’t quite line up with the rest of your web page. Your audience will be intrigued by the change of pace and pay more attention.

Feeling pretty confident in your alphabet? Go forth and conquer that website! Still not quite sure? No worries – contact us here at Blackwood. We know what we’re doing when it comes to designing websites, and we’d love to work with you on yours. 

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