The contrast between print and online points of entry is especially stark. Headlines and photos were the first visual stop for print readers; navigation was the first stop for online readers.
People reading broadsheets viewed headlines before photos. Fifty-three percent of participants reading broadsheets viewed headlines as the first point of entry on the front page. A photo or another headline most often came next for those readers.
This differs somewhat from Poynter’s first EyeTrack study in 1990 in which readers entered a broadsheet page through the largest photo first. Because readers in this study read live stories rather than prototypes, one explanation for the difference is that they had heightened interest in real stories (on a day they had been asked not to read the paper before being observed). Also, as frequent readers of the newspaper, they may have been guided by what the editors chose as most significant.
The eye movements of a reader were captured using small video cameras. The movements were represented on a recording as a crosshair. (Photo by Amanda Determan)
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Phila. Daily News
Rocky Mountain News
St. Petersburg Times
A note from
Dr. Mario Garcia
“If you have a good story, they will read it, and they will go very deep into the story.”
John Temple, editor, president and publisher of the Rocky Mountain News, an EyeTrack07 research partner.
“Story forms have been a big buzz word in our newsroom for a couple of years, but this is some of the first research that ... reinforces that people do spend more time with them and pay attention to them and also are getting a lot out of them.”
Cory Powell, deputy managing editor, visual journalism at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, an EyeTrack07 research partner.