Call to action theory applied to blog design

The Gutenberg rule

The Gutenberg diagram is a concept that maps out something called reading gravity. Reading gravity describes a habit of reading in the western world: left to right, top to bottom.

The Gutenberg diagram
via smashingmagazine.com

“It suggests that the bottom left area of the page will get least attention as our eyes scan the page from top left to bottom right and that our glance would end up in the lower right portion of the page. How can we utilize this concept? Buttons and calls to action could be placed in bottom right instead of bottom left, as this is the place where the visitor’s glance is likely to alight.”

The Gutenberg diagram applied to blog design

If we apply the diagram to the post/comment section, this would mean the submit comment button would logically be placed on the right. Where it would be calling for action to communicate with the author and other readers. While this seems logical there is something els going on. Most blogs have the submit comment button aligned to the left, resulting in most people being accustomed to this in blog layouts and designers keeping it this way.

So while the theory is nice, should we ignore it for parts that we have become accustomed to style in a certain way?

If we apply the diagram to the blog as a whole, this would mean the right bottom of the footer is where you can call for action. My blog has the ‘follow me’ and ‘subscribe to rss’ calls to action in the bottom right footer. Most blogs have these in the top right part of their widget bar, which aslo seems like an logical option. The reader would land there when scanning the header, categories menu and title of the first post. I do wonder if those give an good enough impression to get someone to subscribe, probably someone will only subscribe when visiting the page for a second time and then the visitor would be able to quickly find it at the top of the page.

So it seem there are multiple options to implement the theory, but still a great tool to develop your web designs.

4 thoughts on “Call to action theory applied to blog design

  1. Ik denk dat je theorie wel klopt, maar het zou de internets wel een hele saaie boel maken als iedereen volgens dit principe zou gaan designen. Dan zou niks meer afwijken en alles saai en uniform worden. Omdat de wetenschappers en ander laboratoriumtuig zegt dat dat het beste werkt.. Wat vind je bijvoorbeeld van http://www.nalden.net ? Of van een zoekmachine als http://beta.spezify.com/ ?

    • Wow those are great designs! You definitely have a good point that the web would become boring. I guess this theory should only be followed in some product website cases, then it’s useful background information.

      Thanks for your comment!