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If you are one of the people who develop personal brand , which is essential in this era, it is essential that you know the value of the F pattern.
Bonnie Keitel via Unsplash
What is that? Nothing more and nothing less than the distinct style in which we all read through different screens, be it a computer, a cell phone, or a tablet.
The name was given by Jakob Nielsen and his team from the Nielsen Norman Group, who have dedicated themselves to studying so-called “eye tracking” in users who read in digital formats. And they discovered that there is a common pattern, since it is made in the shape of an F. They discovered the so-called “heat map”, the most important reading areas on the Web.
As it’s increasingly common to network, your blog, a digital press release, or in your newsletter, using email marketing and other ways to publish content.
Why would I explain these techniques in detail and relate them to your personal brand? Because, sure, you should know how to write and grab your audience’s attention, as well as speak out and present your ideas clearly and powerfully.
No matter how much you hire someone to help you with texts, design and all that you don’t know or don’t want to do, it is essential that he has your character and style: and that only you have produced; You can’t delegate that, and what’s more: From experience I’m telling you that not just any professional (community managers, web and graphics designers, text writers, for example) understands it quickly.
What does F pattern mean and how to master it
What they have studied and discovered is that gaze maps out a certain reading pattern when you are on the Internet; It looks like the letter F.
Online, people don’t read letter by word linearly, instead:
- The horizontal reading is performed first at the top of the screen.
- Then the gaze makes another horizontal, but shorter, movement in the area below what you just read.
- Finally, it focuses on the left side of this content (which will be the thin line under the F).
As you may have noticed, in this article I am thinking about languages in which the reading direction is left to right.
Let’s see this with an example: If you upload an article to the blog on your website because you are constantly working on your personal brand and adding value with interesting content, the first thing your audience sees is the headline and top left.
If only the first words of each of these lines are not interesting to you, you may lose that person , because they leave your page and go to look for another topic; Or, you might be lucky enough to stick around a little longer, gliding (like the thin line in the letter F) anxious to find something interesting.
We are basically visual
All human beings, no matter what culture and where we live in, have a highly developed sense of sight; Hence the phrase that says “everything enters the eye”.
in the internet world, The text occupies an important place in the public interest; Experts refer to it as the entry point for people who get involved and want to know more, unlike what happens in Offline online Figure, for example, in a newspaper, where usually what attracts attention is a photo.
All the resources that you can apply in your texts for the Internet that help to navigate better, are of great value to visitors. For example, navigation or summary menus guide your reading. They are called “routers”, because they prompt where we want that person to go directly to read.
Long or short texts?
About the length of the texts, there is a lot of controversy around them. Jakob Nielsen himself states that only 20% of the content is read on the screen; And challenge with a statement: “Do not write more than 50% in length than you would bring for a hard copy.”
On the other hand, there are those who assert that many people read by “screenshot”, that is, in addition to F-style, their gaze quickly scans through the text, until they find a word, a phrase marked in bold, or something that catches the eye.
For this reason, reading dynamism occupies a central place within the structure when using texts for your personal brand. Some of the resources are: spacing, the way you break up texts, the layout in which they are displayed on the screen, the sense of reading and visual separations (like, say, spacing after a full point) are very important.
I especially recommend a conversational language, like the one I apply in this article, because by personalizing it, people feel more comfortable and closer to you.
Keys to grab attention with style F
Keeping readers online is another topic of study. As it happens to all of us, we probably enter a topic with great interest, and from there we move on to another topic and another and thus, we “select” relevant content from different sources.
Scholars emphasize that text navigation and fluency should be very straightforward to those who visit us, as they will always allocate a limited time to each headline, keyword or associated word (hyperlink).
This is the reason why F-style web design is preferred if it is done professionally, Because it is the meaning in which the user reads, at least according to what has been studied so far.
The main points to consider are:
- Where to locate the most important elements. The F-style focuses on many of the elements in the top left of the web page. I add that it can also apply to any other piece of information added to the Internet.
- It makes reading easier. Everything that helps to read clearly, clearly and directly, will attract the attention of the audience.
- Visual Gravity Elements. The use of symbols or symbols activates reading and emphasizes concepts, as well as the use of clear, easy-to-decipher fonts at a size suitable for all types of people.
- Headlines should contain a predicament, without lying. It is very common to use the technique of “clickbait” on the Internet (hook, for a person to click), in which a title is placed that plays with the content itself, although it can often be misleading.
- Consider multiple access devices for users . Reading on computers, and the increasing use of mobile phones for information and navigation, are also affecting reading. That is why the need to create different content formats is increasing according to the tastes, uses and habits of the so-called User Experience .
- Use a call to action (call to action): This is what the writer or the media would like this person to do next. Calls are not necessarily for sale, but, for example, you can arouse curiosity to continue reading with a simple question.
- Use magic words when writing This way you will better connect your online writing skills with persuasion and influence techniques. This is exactly what discipline authorship It is all about, who seeks to create engaging texts that arouse interest in reading. It is applied to content, marketing, advertising and any kind of pieces on the Internet.
Some examples of magic words: Simple, Easy, Professional, Guaranteed, Safe, Free, Tried, Tried, Today, Now, Urgent, Only, Limited, Economic, Saving, Gift, Discount, New, Secret, Imagine, Discover, Build, Achieve, do, get excited. And the most persuasive word: the person’s name.
- Other patterns (which are not F) have been studied. : Supplementary studies suggest that F-type conclusions cannot be generalized, since it has been studied that others read them as an inverted E or L (very similar to the F than we’re talking about here).
- Diverse styles: In the many articles and posts I’ve looked at on this note, Nielsen has updated their research, finding that there are users who use the “spotted style” scheme for reading (because they skip large blocks of text and link you to what they’re interested in) and “teaching style” (involves keeping Your eyes are fixed in one place, while your mouse or finger slides to another place in the text.)
- Touch and interaction on mobile phones. In the case of users who read on their mobile phones, since it is a much smaller screen than a computer screen, the experience is quite different.
In addition, with web content that is “responsive” (adaptive in shape, and resizable automatically when viewed on mobile), people can touch and otherwise interact. That is why, for example, social networks are so attractive, because they are in the palm of your hand; This is why it is not used by computers as much.
5 Points to Keep in Mind When Posting Your Personal Brand Content Online
Based on my own experience, with over 2000 articles written and published in all types of media in my country and the world, and on the web danielcolombo.com:
1. Don’t get discouraged
Just because a user sees some content in this way does not mean that you should give up length, quality, depth or creativity. You keep going and adapt as much as possible.
2. Not everything disguised works the same way
I know dozens of copywriters and web designers who claim that their ultimate truth is the ultimate truth. This does not exist. You have to try different persuasion techniques and reach your audience, and the design of a web professional will not always be a good fit for your personal brand: always look for people who are experienced and with whom you feel understand you.
3. Build your own virtual community
When you commit to creating content, the goal is for it to read, follow, and engage with you. Then comes, if so, the conversion to a sale or whatever you offer. Not the other way around: you must give first, and then reap.
When the community values your content, no F is worth it , because they will be more than willing to seek to accompany you with your material, as long as it is interesting to them.
4. Interest flows are permanently reduced
Moreover, they fluctuate every three months or so. Therefore, very long articles should summarize some of the magic and interest in no more than the first two paragraphs. All you have to do is impress people. The same thing happens in public speaking, which is a discipline in which I practice, where you only have 20 or 30 seconds on stage for the audience to give you their confidence. If you pass the first barrier, you may have the opportunity to read another paragraph, then another, and another.
5. Master Yourself and Don’t Be Affected by the “Culture of Cancellation”
As much as theories, studies, and educators on duty say what they say, it’s important to train your communication and design skills and a certain aesthetic taste related to your community (not just your personal preferences).
I have to say this because I know thousands of people who do everything from their own unique perspective, and that specifically doesn’t capture the attention of the audience they want to reach.
That’s why you need to know your audience well, knowing also that they He can leave you at any time. This is called Abolition culture. Don’t take it too seriously and move on, because you’ll never be able to get along with everyone.
And if you have just read this, which is a longer than usual article in my style, I congratulate and thank you for your interest and your company. In this case, then, it would have outgrown the F-style, and hopefully, it would have extended to more dictionary characters.