A Better Design By Understanding How Human Eyes Move

I read this on a train window:


I didn’t realize that actually it’s a series of posters, until I had to move 3 steps to the right when more people came into the train:

I assume the expected behavior from people who read these posters, is to download the iPhone app, so they can buy the insurance. But I doubt people would easily relate those two posters as a series. There are several reasons for that, and one imporant factor is to consider how human eyes work.

There’s a good explanation in What Everyone Should Know About the Human Eye:

The eye has two basic states: it can be in a fixation or a saccade. A fixation lasts between 200 and 400 ms and is characterized by a relative lack of eye movement.  A saccade is the brief, simultaneous movement of both eyes to a new fixation point. Saccades typically last less than 200 ms, in which time the eyes usually rotate less than 20 degrees. Very little information is retained or processed from the eye when in a saccade.

To be short : People will read the poster in a series of short glances followed by short hops. We need to keep related content close together, or it becomes a chore to read it.

The call-to-action poster (the right one) is disconnected from the awareness poster (the left one). If you imagine the ideal flow in people’s mind would be: “Ok, I think I need a travel insurance. So, what should I do next?”

You see how far it was for me to see the second poster: I have to move 3 steps to the right!

Another important concept of how human eyes work, is how the brain comes pre-equipped with special processing centers for the detection, recognition, and processing of faces.

From the site:

Here’s where it gets cool: not only do people love to look at faces, but we often use them as clues as to where else to look. Following a person’s gaze is almost a reflex. James Breeze demonstrated this really well in a blog post called “You look where they look.”

His experiment was simple: about 100 people were shown a picture of an advertisement with a baby and some text. Half the time, the baby was facing the reader, while the other time, the baby was looking at the text. Breeze found that not only did the people shown the baby looking at the text pay more attention to the text, but they actually stopped looking at the baby faster in order to follow its gaze.

So, there are two improvements than we can do on these posters:

  1. Add a face that is looking at the text, so people would pay more attention.
  2. Make them closer to each other, so people can easily read and relate those two posters, then hopefully download the app to buy the insurance.

I did a quick wireframe for the improvement:

What do you think?

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