lefty.jpgDepending on your blog’s topic, post images can encourage reading. But where do we place those images? On the left or the right?

A common response to this is to place the content on the left, because Westerners read from left to right. That is true, and it does play a role in the decision, but not always in the way you would expect.

The Left Logic

Images work because they draw attention. The visual interest draw the user’s eye towards the picture, and hence the post. However, once the eye has been drawn, where does it go from there?

Assuming the image had the desired effect, the reader will now be looking to read the article. Those of us in the Western world read from left to right, so it follows that the most natural direction to scan is to the right of the image.

Beyond that, placing text to the right of the image means that the distance from the image to where the reader can start reading is shorter than if the text had been on the left. I would say that this factor is even more important than the preceding one.

Eye movement left to right.

The left aligned image makes reading on from the picture to the article easier on the eye.

The Not-Always-Left Logic

User eye movements are not the only factor in decided where to place your images. Your blog’s design will often play a vital role as well.

For instance, here on Pro Blog Design we use short post excerpts on the home page. Images take up a large proportion of those excerpts and if I placed all of the images on one side, I would end up with a column of images dominating my home page. To negate this, I alternate between one-left and one-right image (And no, the irony of this post being one of the righties wasn’t lost on me!).

Where do you place the images on your blog? What makes you do things that way?

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