Everything you need to Know About the F-Shaped Pattern

Saurabh Tiwary | 19th May 2017

Over the past few years, the web and mobile interface design has evolved dramatically. Thanks to the UI/UX designers who have been employing intuitive design ideas to boost the user experience. Well, from a tiny icon to a large image, everything counts to the measure of user experience. Nevertheless, a website’s content plays a major role too.

Here, we shall take a look at one of the content structures being used for website UI i.e. F-Shaped Pattern.

What is F-Shaped Pattern?

F-Pattern is the most common user eye-scanning patterns while representing several blocks of content. Here, F means fast. This is how users visualize a website’ content. F-pattern content type help users consume more information as they move their eyes across all the corners.

The concept was brought in by NNGroup eye-tracking study that found that when users were made to look at thousands of web pages their behavior while reading the content seemed consistent across many different sites and tasks. This reading pattern followed F-shape and had following results:

  • Most of the users read in a horizontal movement, usually across the upper part of the content area. All the sites that were presented followed F-Shape Pattern.
  • Next, they scan a vertical line down the left side of the screen, looking for points of interest in the paragraph initial sentences. When they found something interesting they read across in a second horizontal movement that typically covers a shorter area than the previous movement. This additional element forms the F’s lower bar.
  • Finally, users scan the content’s left side in a vertical movement.


Why use F-shape Content Pattern?

F-shaped pattern is primarily suited for creating design types possessing  visual hierarchy i.e. the type of design which is easily scannable. The F-shaped layout has been widely accepted by western users as they prefer reading top-to-bottom, left-to-right


When to use F-Shaped Pattern?

If your website’s layout is text-heavy containing a large number of blogs and news, F-shaped structure is a great way to go. To be precise, websites with a bulk of text can incorporate this content structure for easy readability of the content.


How to use this?

F-Layout allows designers to control what they actually see. This is how you should incorporate this in your user interface design applications.


Prioritize your Content

It is crucial to study what content are you going to display on your website. You can have a read of this article to read more about the information architecture.

5 Ways you Can Improve the Information Architecture Design


  • Prioritize your content based on most to least  
  • After finalizing what you want your users to see, you can  place them at the appropriate place for interaction.


Set initial expectations

Consider first two paragraphs of your content. Place those content to the top of the page that matters the most as to communicate the site’s purpose quickly. Usually, users prefer to read horizontally across the header.

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Saurabh Tiwary

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