The Latest in the field of Neuroscientists tell us about where to look, about when and why!

From my very first exposure to Jungian and Freud psychotherapists, up on through various philosophers such as Sartre and Nietzsche, I have been interested in why we do what we do. After majoring in psychology in college, which pretty much focussedon how our brain worked to motivate us (operant conditioning) or to help us perceive and think about things (cognitive psychology), I was hooked. Then in graduate school the shift moved towards how our brains interact with media and I have never been able to stop reading about it and readjusting the premises.

Here are a few thoughts that were part of what I learned way back when from Dondis A Dondis…

He hypothesized that our brains would scan a page in a quadrant like fashion and moving down into the center of the page in squares and finally landing at the middle lower left. He proved that advertising that positioned the most critical image there “such as a burning house, buy this insurance” would be a slam dunk.

He also noted that circles create a sense of completion, strong horizontals suggest the horizon which makes us feel steady, while diagonals generate tension and interest.

He also included many different techniques for creating visual that created different emotional effects including…

simplicity, complexity, randomness, repetition, serial presentations, exaggeration, understatement.

Just recently I ran across a new article that used the latest in neuroscience to determine where a viewer looks when faced with a screen. It appears that a combination of LARGE text positioned to VIBRANT graphics creates the most tension and thus attracts our attention. And this would not work if the space were clogged up with too many images and too many words so it is difficult to distinguish between the many competing values of color, font, and picture. None of this is actually very surprising, but worthy because once again it attempts to explain why some visual “campaigns” work and others don’t or remain pale in the light of more vibrant approaches.

Any how, here is the latest about what one should apply when positioning items on a web page. The link of note is simply here.