I am all for documentation / proof in UX but at the same time the problem with vetting out ideas, or common sense "this worked for me " illustrations may keep you from testing that one morsel that puts your ux / conversion rate over the top.
I recently bought something from the website of a company that does that exact same thing wrong and made me hesitate a long while before purchasing. I sent the article to them and hope they change their setup, I really want them to succeed.
The referenced "studies" show that users will scroll if they realize they need to access their desired content.
That absolutely does not mean that vertical pages provide pleasing UX or good usability. It simply means the user endured the vertical layout in that case.
None of the provided citations support that conclusion of the article. Not only that - sample size, obvious confirmation bias, and extreme extrapolation of data to unsupported conclusions render the "studies" relatively useless.
In the last citation, even though they attempt to wash it away with statistical significance (SD on a sample of 15?) their data actually shows that usability, as defined by comprehension, is maximized by paging.
I think the truth is found closer to the notion that form follows function and the answer to scroll vs. paging is content and site specific.
I am finding the article, overall, unimpressive. The method involved seems to be that of looking for support of one's opinion, not extraction of good practice from objective research.
In 1999, when i started making sites, the sort of nav was considered "boring" because everyone was using it, and our designers often created weird (poorly performing) nav just to buck the trend.
The fact that the bottom right corner is barely ever looked at directly is hardly surprising, but seeing how the user processes the page could be interesting, especially with some layouts that are more visual than than search results.
"...for sites that are traditionally read from left to right, placing important design components at the left is a good idea; vice versa for sites whose language is read from right to left."
What about languages that are read top-to-bottom first?
Did she have any basis for this?
I had the pleasure of some industrial ergonomics/design courses in college, and IMHO web designers would be wise to look at the decades of research that have gone into that field. Much of it remains relevant even in software/web UI.
That seemed odd to me just going off (less than scientific) bits and pieces I've read over the years, especially relating to retail design where a popular adage is that "people tend to walk to the right upon entering a store" (so that's where you put the more expensive goodies).
But a cliché isn't evidence. So I thought I'd look for stronger citations. And man, it's tough. I haven't found anything on the retail thing yet but there seems to be evidence of preferences for one direction over another in studies. For example: http://bps-research-digest.blogspot.com/2006/12/satisfaction...
Reading direction appears to have an influence on the ease with which items are detected in different hemispheres: http://pss.sagepub.com/content/16/1/15.abstract (and sort of related: http://pss.sagepub.com/content/18/6/487.abstract)