In 2003 the Poynter Institute, with the help of Eyetools Inc, took 46 Internet users and looked through their eyes using non-intrusive “eyetracking” equipment, as they each spent an hour reading news websites and multimedia news content. The results make interesting reading.
For example it was discovered that using smaller type results in more careful reading and discourages skim reading of articles. On pages with larger type, there’s more scanning going on and less concentrated viewing (less reading) of the words.
For more on this and other findings, visit the Eyetrack III website.