Action Oriented Design

Action Oriented Design

In this digital age, where attention spans are shorter than ever, grabbing and maintaining the attention of your audience is crucial. One powerful way to achieve this is through the strategic use of call-to-actions (CTA’s) at the end of your emails. Action oriented designs such as incorporating the F-shaped reading pattern and the Inverted Pyramid, all whilst using large, eye-catching buttons and headings serve as the driving force behind engagement and guide readers to desired actions. 

Structure and use of headings

When emails are structured with headings, it creates a clear hierarchy of information. This is especially important for people using assistive technologies like screen readers. On the e-shot website email templates that demonstrate an optimal and accessible email structure may help you to design your own.

You can find out more about 2023 email design trends here.

Without headings, the email may appear as one incoherent block of text to those using screen readers. Headings allow these users to navigate through the email by jumping from one section to another, making it easier for them to find the content, therefore, enhancing accessibility. 

The F-shaped Reading Pattern 

With limited time and an abundance of information vying for attention, people have been found to tend to scan content in an F-shaped pattern. But what is the F-shaped reading pattern? 

The pattern contains three singular components: the user reads in a horizontal movement, at the top of the content area; the user moves down the page and scans horizontally again; and finally, the user reads down the left-hand side of the content in a vertical motion.  

Understanding this behaviour can help optimise your email layout to align with users natural scanning tendencies. It is particularly important to consider this method when designing newsletters or longer more informative emails with multiple articles or content sections. Usually, the letter F stands for fail, but guaranteed by using this pattern, results will prove otherwise. Utilising this shape not only enhances readability but also allows you to strategically position CTAs in the most effective locations. 

F shape on top of an email design

The Inverted Pyramid Method

To further optimise your emails for engagement, consider adopting the inverted triangle approach. This method divides the content into three sections: grabbing attention, building anticipation, and presenting a clear CTA. If you only have a singular purpose in your email the inverted pyramid is more effective than the F pattern as there is less information and so the reader won’t have to scan the page to get the point of the email, it should be fairly obvious.

Also, the inverted pyramid technique enables the possibility to shortcut the email as the reader may likely be engaged by a strong headline, prompting them to click the CTA. Therefore, the explanation text is unnecessary for some and is only there for those who need more motivation to click the button.

By starting with an attention-grabbing headline or introductory sentence, you can immediately captivate your audience. Following this, building anticipation by providing relevant and compelling information keeps interest piqued. Finally, concluding with a strong and persuasive CTA that guides the reader towards the desired action. The inverted triangle structure sharpens focus, ensuring that your emails are concise, impactful ad consistently effective.

Triangle shape pointing down ontop of an email design

The Power of Big, Eye-Catching Buttons

The size of the button should be at least 44px wide and tall according to the WCAG, or 48px according to Google. The Mechanics of Tactile Sense found that the average width of the index finger is 1.6 to 2 cm (16 - 20 mm) for most adults, this converts to 45 - 57 pixels. To find out more about CTA’s visit the e-shot website.

Email design shown on a mobile with a large heading and button

In summary

Today’s fast-paced digital landscape means that action-oriented design has become a vital factor in capturing and retaining the attention of your audience. By incorporating strategic CTAs at the end of your emails, following the F shaped reading pattern, and implementing the inverted triangle approach with eye-catching buttons, you can create emails that stand out and deliver optimistic results by catalysing engagement. With this being said, don’t overlook the power of action-oriented designs, they are the bridge between a mere viewer and an actively engaged participant.


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