Putting the answer to a typical user’s main question in big red type at the top of your homepage would guarantee high usability, right? Wrong — at least for the U.S. Census Bureau’s homepage, where 86% of users failed to find the country’s current population when it was presented in large red numbers.
Homepage for www.census.gov, as tested.
In a reduced screenshot, the population count is the only information that’s clearly readable, so it makes the task easier than it is in real life. On the actual site, users often ignored the big red characters .
The following heatmap from one of our eyetracking studies shows how users looked at this...