You know the one I'm talking about - the blue floating badge that is common place on many a blog and is known as WpFollowMe
Now Im not saying it doesn't work on all blogs (it quite possibly performs really well on yours), and I can only really offer data from mine, but its worth taking a look at the results, only if its for the sense of glee you'll feel knowing I was wrong.
Here is a heatmap which shows the clicks on the badge. For a valuable piece of real-estate, it shouldn't be that colour. If there were lots of clicks it would be yellow-red.
Out of 900 clicks on the homepage only 9 were on the badge!
Ok so the results were completely pathetic.
Funny story (well not funny, but I'll force it upon you anyway). I was browsing this blog, for Ashleys Twitter account. I looked on the About Page, the Contact Page, in fact every page. There would have to be a link to the Twitter profile somewhere, right? Right. She was using the same Widget I was and for some strange reason I missed it.
Now maybe I'm just insane (which wouldn't be good seeing as I'm supposed to design UI's for a living) but I seriously didn't see it until about the 5th try.
This phenomenon probably only occurs with people who have the widget installed themselves or those who read a lot of blogs.
I could run some more usability tests on this widget, but I kinda don't want to pay for that, when I've already found a better solution....
A Better Solution
The current design on this blog has a much better twitter button. Its harder to miss as its in a hot spot when it comes to eye movements and it also looks better and doesn't annoy the user. The feedback I'm getting so far is of a much improved click-through rate and also I'm noticing a steady flow of new Twitter subscribers (although the latter stat does correlate it could be unrelated).
So maybe I'm just crazy. Maybe its just my blog....but then again, do you know how effective this widget is on your blog?