When designing a website, you need to ensure that the design has clear, cohesive visual aids that guide the user on their journey across the site. This means such elements as a menu on the top right left-hand side that is clearly visible or footers with buttons that are easy to see. In the world of website design, these elements are part of visual hierarchy, and are a vital component of any successful website design. 

If you are working with a website design agency you will learn a little about website design practices. However, not everyone is aware of what visual hierarchy is or what it entails. Simply put, visual hierarchy is the arrangement or presentation of elements on a website that allocates how important each element is. This has an effect on how the human brain perceives what it is seeing. 

Now, you are probably wondering what this means for your own website design. Below we discuss what visual hierarchy is and how you can implement it. 

 

What Is Visual Hierarchy?

 

In terms of website design, visual hierarchy can be understood as the order in which a user processes the visual information they see in front of them. When used in user interface design, it allows users to easily understand information. Website designers assign different visual characteristics to different sections to influence how users perceive information.  

An example of this is using larger fonts for headings, to denote that those words are more important and should be read first. When it comes to visual objects or images, the larger images are often considered to be more important than smaller images. This can be especially useful for promotions, as you can make some items larger, thus making them seem more valuable and interesting to consumers. 

 

How You Can Implement Visual Hierarchy

 

Now that you understand a little more about visual hierarchy and what it means in website design, you can start looking at ways to implement it in your own website. This does not need to be a difficult process, but it is a highly effective design tactic. Below are some simple tips to get you started. 

 

The “F” Factor

 

Researchers have found that our eyes follow an “F” pattern traditionally when we are viewing a website. What this means is that, when we are viewing a web page, our eyes are immediately attracted by content and images that are at the top of the hierarchy. The pattern goes thusly: we scan the page from the top left-hand side, then move to the right, then down the left side in search of visual cues, then back to the right. 

A strategic website design places the most important information within this F pattern, making it quick and easy for users to find keywords and images. When there is not a strong visual hierarchy, users often feel confused and are not sure as to what content is more important. Your users may click away to another website that is designed with this visual hierarchy in mind.

 

Size Does Matter

 

Objects on a website that appear larger demand more attention. They are thought of as being more important than smaller images or fonts, and using sizing as a visual hierarchy tool is an effective way to guide a user’s eye to a specific section of the page. For example, if you are setting up a promotion for certain products, you can make some larger than others to help grab the attention of consumers

Size also applies to the fonts that you use. Larger words are thought of as being more important, and so users will read these first. The eye naturally moves from larger elements down to smaller ones, and so your design should follow this same concept. Start by thinking about the size of the items you are going to be using in your website design in order to be strategic about where and how they are placed. 

 

Always Consider Colour

 

When it comes to colour, the brighter the better is a popular motto. Using brighter colours can help to grab the attention of your users. Bold, contrasting colours can be used for drawing the eye to certain elements, such as buttons for calls-to-action or to highlight links to important pages. 

Similarly, colours can be used for the “personality” of the website, such as using cool, calming colours to elicit a relaxed response from users. You can use colour to specify different sections of your website. If you sell computer equipment, for example, you could use red to denote the security section of your website. 

If you would like carefully crafted website design or redesign for your business, brand, or retail store, the NetMechanic team can help you with this and so much more. Contact us today to find out how.