For sure, every web designer and blogger wanted to know if there is a better web design approach to get more traffic. And once, there is traffic, wanted to know if there is a better visual layout that can monetize the traffic.
Eye Track Research
While there are many observations and theories based on induction and preachers who claim they know everything about web design and can teach you in two day seminars priced at $1999, I do not agree with any of these. But if you are interested and wish to save a couple of thousand dollars, help yourself by visiting the Eye Track III research result web site here. The study is quite old, I would say, captured in 2003--04 well before the surge of blogs and social networking or I would say well before Web2.0 kicked in.
In Eyetrack III, we observed 46 people for one hour as their eyes followed mock news websites and real multimedia content.
If the information on that web site is too much to take for you, here is a nice 23 actionable point summary.
Does these observations really matter? Take a test.
I don't think so. These suggestions may be good for an average web master who could not figure out why there was no traffic to the web site and really desperate to make any change anybody could tell.
Based on how I read blogs and websites, none of those points mentioned in the research really matter and in few cases my observation is completely opposite.
If you don't believe just observe what you read on a site that you love the most. And compare these rules with your own observations.
Apple iPod/iPhone Packaging
If Apple had followed similar research results or 10s of scientific packaging principles, you wouldn't have seen those gorgeous and yet elegant iPod/iPhone packaging at all. You would have seen just another package, no matter what is written and where is it written you will never read a word. Watch this mockery of scientific design of iPod packaging by Microsoft.