Visual hierarchy is one of the most important parts of every website since it’s the first thing that attracts visitors. That’s why user experience and user interface designers and web agencies work really hard in order to please the eye of demanding online users.
As you can understand, you need something more than inspiration to create a compelling visual hierarchy that will help a website to stand out online. There are a lot of tricks and tips that can be useful for implementing your design ideas effectively. Here is what you need to know when designing a website for the first time:
What is Visual Hierarchy?
Visual hierarchy is an arrangement of elements that aims to present information to the website’s users. If a design is unclear or some elements are missing, random visitors will leave the website as soon as possible. A list of elements that can influence a user’s perception of the site includes size, colour, contrast, alignment, and repetition, proximity, texture and style.
Once you establish a hierarchy on your website, you will be able to lead users and help them catch the most important parts.
Things to Do for Better Visual Hierarchy
If you want to organize your website content for better visual hierarchy, here is what you need to do:
1. Play with Colours
Colour is another powerful visual element that can help you deliver the right message to the audience. For example, you can use bright colours to emphasize the importance of the content.
According to experts at Career Foundry, colours can also establish the overall tone of the website. For instance, red indicates enthusiasm, confidence, and youth. At the same time, blue has meanings such as peace, security, trust, and calm.
UX designers recommend using colour blocks in order to place logically related elements. This way, users will be able to scan them freely and read the message faster.
2. Choose the Right Size
Typographic hierarchy is a core subsection of visual hierarchy, and it aims at combining and modifying fonts in order to create a contrast on the website.
Size matters! In fact, it is one of the most important tools when it comes to visual hierarchy. The thing is that large photos, shapes, and text get the most attention. That’s why you need to decide on crucial messages you want your visitors to see in the very beginning and adjust their size.
It is worth mentioning that you need to control the size of all elements in an acceptable range. Before you launch the website, you should definitely give it to someone who can test it.
3. Show the Contrast
Use visual elements such as shadows, colours, and sizes to create a contract and emphasize what’s important (e.g. the layer elements). Also, it will help to create balance on your website, which is very appealing to online users.
4. Highlight Important Content
Besides text size and contrast, there are other ways to highlight important content on your website. When people browse web pages, they usually use ‘Z’ and ‘F’ scanning patterns. It’s recommended to use the F pattern in case you have a lot of text and video content. Feel free to use both patterns on the same website.
Taking this into account, place an important message in the bottom or head of the webpage. In order to create an excellent hierarchy, consider adding titles and subtitles. Before doing so, you have to determine user needs first.
5. Apply the Golden Ratio
The golden ratio is a mathematical proportion that is considered to be the most aesthetically pleasing thing for the human eye. UX designers apply the golden ratio quite often at the stage of wireframing. This rule helps to decide on placing and sizing elements.
6. Use White Space
White space, also known as negative space, is a core element of general visual composition. Thanks to it, other elements of the website are more noticeable. Moreover, there are different kinds of white space: micro, macro, active, and passive. So, consider using white space to your advantage!
7. Use Page Layout
The layout is also a visual element that can serve a specific purpose. It’s up to you whether you want to have a variety of page layouts or repeated page layouts on the website. In the second case, for example, users will be able to find information more quickly.
The Bottom Line
You can’t build a successful website without taking into account a visual hierarchy since it’s one of the most important parts of web design. To make sure your visitors enjoy spending time on your website, you should use visual hierarchy golden rules.
Choose colours, fonts and layouts that will make it easier for users to find what they are looking for.
Also, consider applying the golden ratio rule and creating a contrast with colours and text sizes. All these elements will help you highlight important information and make your website stand out.