Eyetracking Study Says Text Is Best

Many of us are busy trying to find that digital piece of gold known as a better display or banner ad. Leading this pursuit at the moment, are ads that are looking more and more like magazine ads, and in some cases TV ads. Yet, some might say that’s exactly the wrong direction.
According to TIME, advertisers are often wrong about what attracts our attention online. Online, text-only ads receive the most looks.

Part of that might be our accidentally thinking text-only ads are part of the information we’re looking for. But as Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group explains it, the nature of the Web itself might be coming into play as well. Unlike television, which is a passive medium, the Web is all about taking action — searching, clicking, registering, buying, downloading. It might be the case that as we’re out there on the Internet, what we’re attracted to is content that gets us to where we want to go.

In other words, impede a Web surfer’s progress at your own peril.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.