When laying out a website a designer always want to lay it out in a way that draws the eyes and the clicks. Almost all websites are all laid out the same based on these studies. Banner ads to the to the top right, logo to the top left, navigation and more ads on the edges. As a test I wanted to see where people moved their mouse during a day of web surfing. What I found to do this was a simple program called MousePath that tracks the movement of your mouse. Move it, it leaves a line. A stationary mouse building a circle that gets bigger the longer it stays still. I put the program on a few of the computers at work to see what a typical day looks like. Here are two of them.
The results were interesting. One, the giant dot is me leaving my computer on all night and leaving the program running. Two, everything seems to drift left. Hardly any movement to the right and 75% of the movement above the fold. The first picture is almost all internet surfing but the second is an employee doing a combination of surfing and regular work on her computer. One of the explanations of the left movements is the left dock we both have on our computers but regardless you can see how we work a page and where we don’t. If you have ads on a right sidebar or upper right hand corner they don’t stand much of a chance if I’m surfing.
If you’re interested in trying it out here are the direct links to download the program. Virus free…..at least when I downloaded it.