Quick, Look to your Right

The basic science of how and why a webpage is laid out is generally well understood by web and UX designers.

Keep key content and offers ‘above-the-fold’; work your navigation around the ‘7 plus or minus 2’ rule; use secondary content to support the primary content, and tertiary content to keep the user moving through their journey.

The list goes on and on.

As the industry becomes more focused on page/website performance and ‘conversion’, the focus around what are loosely known as ‘calls-to-actions’ has increased.

It would take months to write a comprehensive blog on ‘calls-to-actions’ and learning and understanding how they best perform is a never-ending learning; website conversion and designing ‘acquisition’ based websites is an enormous topic.

The purpose of this blog therefore is simple; a colleague sent me a good article on the basics of why calls-to-action should be positioned on the RHS of a page, rather than the left.

For those experienced in designing conversion-driven websites, it is a fairly fundamental truth.

For those less-experienced however, it leads to a simple rule; unless you know what you are doing and have plenty of confidence in your hypothesis otherwise, calls to action are prominently and clearly placed on the RHS of your pages.



This blog is by no means written for a UX professional.

By no means.

My experience is that there are literally hundreds of variables that determine how a user scans a page, including the design of the page itself.

Users can be focused where you want them to focus, and really the only test for the correct design of a page (and the position of any ‘call-to-action’) is testing; either eye-tracking, or real-world testing.

A/B Split Testing is just one form of real-world testing, and it’s a pretty reliable one and one that you should be investing in, in any event.

Indeed, simply that your button is large, green and boldly asks users to ‘BUY RIGHT NOW’ is no assurance of success, whether it is right-aligned, left-aligned or somewhere else. There are just too many other possible factors including the design of the page, the messaging on the page and where the page appears, relatively to the ‘funnel’ that it exists within.

Indeed, some pages do well with the form embedded as part of the call-to-action whereas others tank; it comes down to the user and what they expected.

I less and less cling to old-school rules of usability and layout and have come to accept that much of it is up in the air and can only be determined with trial and error.

Some fundamentals don’t change however and to qualify myself to any UX professionals reading this blog (who may be upset by my simplification of the placement of the call-to-action), I’m merely suggesting that if you’re going to invite users to engage and ‘convert, the RHS of the page is a generally good starting point.