When I was learning about web design, and I remember similar things from art classes, people said that the eye sees things the most on a page which are in a line from the top-left to bottom-right corners.

Is there a word or phrase for that line? I've heard "order of the occident" to refer to the order western text is written, but that's not really the same thing.

EDIT: So I tried this question on UX, and there is a design term for it: "Gutenberg Diagram", sometimes called a "Gutenberg Diagonal". There doesn't seem to be a single non-industry word for the pattern, however.

  • This might be a more appropriate question for graphicdesign.stackexchange.com Commented Sep 13, 2012 at 15:07
  • 1
    Do you mean diagonal? Commented Sep 13, 2012 at 15:07
  • 1
    There doesn't appear to be a specific word for what you're describing. It's simply called "left-to-right, top-to-bottom". You could borrow a foreign term like yokogaki but few would understand you without context. We don't have single words to describe every directional type of script, though there are some interesting ones (e.g. scripts written boustrophedonically).
    – Zairja
    Commented Sep 13, 2012 at 17:40
  • A similar discussion took place on Wikipedia.
    – Zairja
    Commented Sep 13, 2012 at 17:48
  • I was looking for something like boustrophedon, but it seems like there isn't one for this. That strikes me as odd, since its used in so many different areas.
    – Hydrangea
    Commented Sep 13, 2012 at 17:51

3 Answers 3


According to this scientific article, the term is

directional preferences in perception of visual stimuli.

This article refers to

stroke direction asymmetry

It is notable that there are different directional patterns associated with different cultures and their writing systems.

I am not aware of a term in common parlance that indicates the particular directional pattern you mention or the broader category of directional preferences.

  • +1 What do folks on uxSE have to say on this?
    – Kris
    Commented Sep 14, 2012 at 7:04

I call it left-to-right then top-to-bottom, normal English reading order in my technical documentation.

  • This would benefit from a source or citation. Is there a single word as per the question?
    – livresque
    Commented Feb 9 at 20:49

Always thought it was T(op)L(eft)-D(own)R(right) but some people seem to have misappropriated that for other uses

  • 2
    Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Feb 9 at 7:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.