The visual hierarchy of a website design plays a crucial role in enhancing the website user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). Today the online marketplace is becoming highly competitive and every website design craves attention. The visual hierarchy you create and offer can decide whether the user will interact with your design and perform the desired action or not. A well-planned website visual hierarchy can result in a better website user experience (UX).
The reason why websites spend hundreds of thousands of dollars by hiring an experienced website design company is that they are aware of the fact that visual hierarchy can be effective only when the website lands in the hands of experienced web design professionals. Today users are habituated to scrolling the internet visiting different websites for different purposes. By looking at your web design users can quickly decide whether your website is right for them or not.
That’s why it’s essential for websites to pay special attention to website visual hierarchy for better usability and user experience (UX). But the question comes down to how to do that? If you are scrolling the internet to find key principles of visual hierarchy in UX design then you have landed on the right article where we will be helping you to get a detailed idea about what is a visual hierarchy in web design? Why should websites look into improving their visual hierarchy and different principles that can consider having an optimized visual hierarchy for better website UX?
Table Of Content:
- An Overview Of Visual Hierarchy in website user experience (UX)
- What is a visual hierarchy in web design?
- Why is visual hierarchy important for website UX?
- 8 ways to create an effective visual hierarchy for better website user experience (UX)
- Frequently Asked Questions
An Overview Of Visual Hierarchy in website user experience (UX)
The design has been around from the beginning so has the visual hierarchy. We have been using design to communicate the message and will continue to do it in the future. The element you use in your web design allows websites to communicate their message and improve the website user experience (UX). But for that, it’s essential to place all the elements in the right way with the help of a proper hierarchy.
Today users prefer to scan the page before they start engaging with the site. That is the reason why having a proper visual hierarchy is essential for a website and business as it allows them to grab user attention and encourages them to explore more about your website and business. The visual hierarchy of yoru web design allows you to arrange the important elements in order to improve website usability and user experience (UX).
The reason why today most businesses look to hire an experienced wordpress web design company for their business is that they are aware of the fact that when designing a website, experienced professionals consider multiple factors, and visual hierarchy is one of them. Having a well-planned visual hierarchy will allow you to offer an enhanced user experience which will result in better engagement and conversion.
The moment userland on the website you design should be able to grab their attention. Because today users have less time so they are likely to spend only a few seconds to check whether your website can benefit them or not. You can place yourself in the shoes of your prospects and think about what if you visit a website and the design makes you feel off, then you are likely to abandon the website and look for some other option.
Most of the time due to poor, confusing, unclear, and cluttered design site visitors leave the website and never return back on it. Today every user wishes to have the best experience that means they can easily get access to the information or product they are looking for in your website design. When it comes to offering the best and seamless user experience then there are multiple things that need to fall into the right place.
Undoubtedly the information architecture of your website is something that plays a crucial role in enhancing your website user experience. But your website visual hierarchy also plays a crucial role in offering an optimized website UX to your site visitors. With the help of well planned visual hierarchy, a website can grab user attention and encourage them to perform the design action.
That is the reason why we have created this article that will help you to get a detailed idea about the key principles of visual hierarchy that will help you to improve your website UX. Before we move ahead, let’s start from the basics by answering why visual hierarchy is important in web design.
What is a visual hierarchy in web design?
From the term, you can easily recognize that visual hierarchy is a way of arranging all the elements in the web design in a hierarchical way depending on their importance. Or we can say it is the process by which designers can rank the design element and display it in the way you want your site visitors to view them. A menu icon is always displayed on the top so that users can easily access other information quickly.
Like that there are other visuals arranged in a hierarchical way so that users can easily communicate with the page and website. A visual hierarchy is created by mapping various elements like the color, shape, position, contract, and more with a goal to create a web page that makes sense. Today almost every user experiences these types of visual hierarchy in their day-to-day life. Having a good visual hierarchy can help you to offer an optimized experience to your site visitors.
So before we move ahead with defining Key principles of visual hierarchy principles that can help you to improve your website UX and usability. Let’s understand why having a good visual hierarchy is essential for your website and business.
Why is visual hierarchy important for website UX?
Most of the website and mobile apps focus on engaging more and more site visitors by offering various content in the form of text, images, and other graphic elements. Undoubtedly a great design will ensure that all the content in your website and mobile app is visually appealing. But a well-planned website design will help you to enhance your website design as well as its functionality. A well-planned website focuses on structuring the content in your website strategically so that your site visitors are able to interact with your website design without facing any issues.
A savvy internet user will always look to access the information in your website quickly just by scanning your website. The visual hierarchy of your website will play a major role in deciding how quickly users are able to scan your website and find the information they are looking for on your web page. The visual hierarchy of your website allows you to lay the important elements on a page in the order of importance. This way you are able to grab the attention of your site visitors and also make content consumption easier for your site visitors.
You can decide the element’s importance depending on your business goal and interest, then place all the elements in a way that engages more and more site visitors and encourages them to explore more about your website. If your site visitors are able to find the important information at the beginning of the website then there are high chances that they will explore more about your website and perform the desired action.
By optimizing your website visual hierarchy you will be enhancing your website navigation which will help in reducing the amount of effort in terms of engagement with your website and web pages. The main goal of the UX designer is to enhance website usability by eliminating all the possible flaws that can harm website conversion. Paying close attention to the visual hierarchy can help you to create the website you desire.
By now you must be having a good idea about the importance of having a well-planned hierarchy for your website. Next, we are going to highlight some of the important points that can be considered while creating your website visual hierarchy for a better website UX.
If you are looking to know the examples of the best award-winning website designs then make sure to check our blog 36 Best Award-Winning Website Designs To Consider in 2021
8 ways to create an effective visual hierarchy for better website user experience (UX)
1. Be clear about your business goal and objectives
The first and foremost thing that we recommend you to do is get a clear understanding of your business goal and the website you are looking to create. The clearer you are about your business goal, the easier it will become for you to arrange the elements in the right order depending on their importance. For example, the elements in the ecommerce website perform different purposes and tasks.
The images are used to grab user attention and offer them a clear view of products and encourage them to explore more about it and finally purchase the product. Then the heading is another important aspect that is placed beside the image and for mobile devices below or on the top of the image. The heading basically tells about the brand and the image users are looking at. And then comes the important element that is CTA asking users to purchase the product.
That’s the visual hierarchy of every ecommerce website on the internet. Depending on the business and marketing goal the designer prioritizes the elements and places them in order so that when users start engaging with the page they are able to follow the right pattern. This way you are not only encouraging them to purchase your product/services but also reducing the efforts that go into interacting with an unorganized web design.
But for all that to happen you need to have a clear understanding of what is your business goal and objective. Some of the websites might look to create authority by educating their audience while few may look to sell their product/services. The more clear you are about your business goal the more effective and engaging visual hierarchy you will be able to create for your website.
One of the best ways to create a result-driven visual hierarchy is by hiring an award-winning website design company that can bring their years of experience in understanding your business goal then arranging the elements in your website design in order depending on their importance.
2. Understand and consider the scanning pattern
The next thing you can look into is understanding and considering the scanning pattern. As we have mentioned earlier that today every user looks to scan the page instead of reading every small word on your website. Later on, they may plan to read the content you are offering but as soon as the users land on a web page they look to scan the whole web page. Depending on that they make their decision whether your website is right for them or not.
When it comes to the scanning pattern then the visual hierarchy plays a major role in grabbing user’s attention and encouraging them to explore more about your website and product. Today the F pattern and Z are the popular scanning patterns revealed by NNGroup. Among them, the F pattern is the most widely used by users to scan the content. After a user lands on the website, they either scan the web page from top to bottom or from left to right.
If a web page has a huge amount of content then the site visitor will be scanning the content in the F pattern. Generally, the user’s eye moves in the F pattern where they start scanning the horizontal line in the top then as the user starts moving towards the horizontal line length starts to reduce. In the F pattern, the user will have more focus on the left side of the screen as they start to scan the page the focus on the right side of the screen will automatically start reducing.
While there are many who claim that the F pattern is not in use anymore, there are still many people who feel the F pattern is the most widely used scanning pattern.
The F pattern applies to the web pages with more content and on the other hand, the Z pattern applies to the website not so heavy with a copy but contains more visuals. When a web page has less content then the user starts scanning the page from the top left corner and moves to the right and then goes down to the opposite corner and they start to scan the page. Knowing how users scan your website will allow you to lay the elements in your website depending on the order of importance.
This way you will be able to grab more users’ attention on the important information and encourage them to explore more about your website and product. If you are not so technical with arranging the element and understanding the scanning pattern then it’s always recommended to hire an experienced wordpress web design company that can help you to create a website design that matches your site visitor’s expectation and encourages them to explore more about your website and product.
3. Keep functionality first
Most of the website and businesses might think that visual hierarchy is more about arranging the elements so that it can offer an appealing appearance. But in reality, it’s not limited to aesthetics. When structuring and organizing the element, a designer should always keep the functionality on the tops.
One needs to ensure that the product or services page they are offering is clear to use and the navigation of the website works right for the audience. If you are failing to offer clear navigation and functionality then the visual hierarchy which is exceptionally created for better appearance can’t work effectively.
Poor navigation and badly structured content can directly impact your website user experience. So when optimizing the visual hierarchy designers and site owners should always consider functions of UI elements for a better and clear navigation process.
If you wish to have a website design that not only grabs user attention but also encourages them to explore more about your website and product, it is always recommended to hire an experienced wordpress web design company who can bring their years of experience in creating a highly responsive and conversion-centric website design for your business.
4. Make use of white space
The white space or the negative space is something that is considered as the key aspect that helps in improving your website interface as well as user experience. You might think that white space is just a small area in web design, so how can it help in making the visual hierarchy more effective and also help in enhancing the website UX? Using sufficient white space has unique visual significance on the web design.
It allows websites to make their visual element more noticeable and makes the layout more effective. The basic idea involved in adding more white space around the element is that the more whitespace you use around the element the more attention it will garb. In short, it allows you to emphasize the element in your website design to make the visual hierarchy more effective. There are other benefits of using sufficient white space in the website design if implemented strategically:
Using sufficient white space can help in improving focus
Undoubtedly today every user scrolling the internet has some or other kind of urgency. That means they look to access the information and product as quickly as possible. So in today’s urgency-driven internet place simplicity can become the major factor that can help in making your website’s visual hierarchy more effective.
Today every website has only a few seconds to grab the user’s attention, so the use of white space can play a major role in making your important information more noticeable. Most of the time websites are able to create an effective visual hierarchy but due to insufficient white space, they fail to hold their site visitors. There are many websites on the internet that make use of sufficient white space to highly promote their product and grab their user’s attention. The Apple website is the best example of it.
When you visit their website you will find sufficient white space around the product heading, images, and tagline. These types of practices help in grabbing more site visitor’s eyes and encourage them to explore more about your website and product.
Helps in converting the cluttered design into an engaging design
A cluttered design is one of the primary reasons behind higher bounce rates and lower conversion. You can find many websites on the internet stuffed with more visuals and color that can make your website design confusing. When all the elements and design you start clamoring for attention then users might get confused and leave your website without performing the desired action.
Not only that but if you start offering cluttered design to your audience then there are high chances that your site visitors might start seeing your website and business as outdated. This way you will not only drive users away from your website but there are high chances that your prospects might never return back on your website design.
A cluttered website not only gets low conversion but also fails to get a higher rank in search engine result pages. Today Google is more serious about offering a better user experience and usability. If your website is failing to meet their expectation then even after having a well-planned visual hierarchy a cluttered design will fail your website and business in different ways.
Whitespace helps in creating and offering a balance
The flow of your website is highly dependent on the balance you create between usability and readability. The whitespace in your website can help you to create a proper balance between both but it’s recommended to experiment with the white space to make your web design more effective. Because using too much white space can make users think that your website lacks content whereas using less white space can make it look disorganized.
The whitespace you use on your website plays a crucial role in making your visual hierarchy more effective and intuitive. Not only that but it also helps in engaging more and more site visitors which leads to better website UX.
If you have got your website designed or redesigned by an experienced website design company then you do not have to worry about the use of white space because every experienced website design professionals are aware of the fact that whitespace is a crucial aspect of website UX which can make or break any online business.
5. Using size to pull focus
The size of the elements and text might be one of the basic but very crucial principles that allow you to highlight the important elements with a goal to grab more users’ eyes on your website design. You might be laying out the elements in your website depending on their importance but among all of them, you must have an element that you might look to highlight more like the CTA’s or any typography. By increasing the size of the element you can immediately grab your site visitor’s attention on the particular element.
When determining the size of the element you need to be careful because many times users commit a common mistake by enlarging the element in a way that decreases the importance of the elements. Yes, you might be eager to highlight the element but you need to always keep your users on the topmost priority. Enlarging too many elements can reduce the importance of your website design as well.
So when you plan to enlarge the element to draw more user attention then it’s always recommended to take the help of experienced professionals. By hiring an award-winning website design company you can get your website redesigned so that all the elements are arranged in a way that grabs users’ attention and encourages them to perform the desired action.
6. Using the right color and contrast to draw attention
When it comes to identifying the principles of visual hierarchy that can help you to improve your website user experience then it’s always recommended to look into the color and contrast. The color and size of the element go hand in hand. Using bright colors in your website can help you to highlight important elements and garb more site visitor’s attention. In the same way, colors with high contrast will appear heavier and closer to the site visitors making it easy for them to interact with the element.
No matter where you place the elements the bright color in your website will help you to draw your site visitor’s attention which will lead to a better user experience. But for that, it’s essential to identify what your site visitors might look for in your website design. Highlighting elements depending on your choice might fail to engage site visitors. Instead, you can look into what most of your site visitors might look for in your website design, and depending on that you can use bright colors for the elements.
When it comes to creating a highly attractive and engaging website design for your business then it’s recommended to hire an experienced wordpress web design company that can help you to create a conversion-centric and revenue-generating website design for your website and business.
7. Pay close attention to the fonts
The first you use in your website design can make or break the effectiveness of your website’s visual hierarchy and website UX as well. You might have spent hours identifying and arranging the important elements in your website design. But a small mistake in the typographical hierarchy can lead to a poorer website user experience. The typographical hierarchy is called one of the important subsections of visual hierarchy that focuses on modifying and combining the font in the web design to create the contrast between the meaningful and prominent copy elements.
It ensures that the text inside your website grabs user attention and offers them a reason to engage with the content. Depending on the color, size, and alignment of the font can be transformed. Most websites prefer black fonts but if you are using a different color in the background then you can make the changes in the font color accordingly. The font size can help you to divide the content so that users are able to engage with the copy you are offering.
When it comes to creating website copy then it’s always recommended to use a clear font as it can offer benefits to your site visitors as well as your website. By offering a clear font you can guide your site visitors in the right direction and convert them into paying customers.
The reason why today most businesses look to hire an experienced website design company for their business is that they are aware of the fact that an experienced website design company always looks into creating a responsive and research-based design that allows site visitors to create an emotional connection with the website and business.
8. Give your website design the right structure (Composition)
By looking at the above techniques and principles you must have a clear idea about how you can grab user attention on one particular element and also how you can guide them through your layout. But to be able to get desired results for your website you need to be aware of the fact that most of the design today benefits not only from aesthetics but from the overall structure and organizing principle. This is generally called composition.
Most of the designers have relied on composition techniques for years to make the website visual hierarchy more effective and result-driven. Let’s take a look at some of the common techniques:
The Rule of thirds is one of the most effective ways to create a dynamic composition where the focal point is not placed at the center. Instead, the rule divides the layout into grid format where the layout is divided into three equally spaced horizontal and vertical boxes. The focal point is placed either on one of the four points or sometimes on one of the lines where the line intersects.
The Rule of odds is another effective way to make your visual hierarchy more effective. The rule says that the odd number of the object is always more interesting and attention-grabbing than even numbers.
9. Alignment on the screen
Another way visual hierarchy can help your website to offer the best user experience is if you are able to create and offer the right alignment on the screen. By doing this you will be able to align the elements along the same path making it possible for site visitors to scan the similar content and elements around it. This way you are not only making it easy for the user to scan your web page but also encouraging them to explore more about your website and business.
The navigation bar can be the best example of it when users land on a website they are easily able to associate with the navigation bar. Because the logo of the website and the page links are aligned horizontally making it easy. This way site visitors are easily able to recognize it as the navigation bar and are easily able to look at the page your website is offering. So if you wish to make your visual hierarchy more effective then it’s recommended to consider alignment while creating the hierarchy.
Or you can also consult with an experienced wordpress web design company that can help you to create a highly attractive and conversion-centric website design that drives more traffic and conversion on the website.
By now you must be aware of some of the important points and principles of visual hierarchy that can help you to enhance your website UX. All the mentioned tips might make sense but when it comes to implementing it practically then there are high chances that sight owners and designers might get confused. Because balancing all these principles and tips in one design is not as easy as it sounds.
The visual hierarchy is used to arrange the elements depending on their importance but you need to remember that the more elements you deem as important the more difficult it will become for you to create a perfect design for your website and business. That is the reason why it is important to identify and select the most important element in your website design and place them accordingly.
One of the most effective ways to create a well-planned visual hierarchy that enhances website user experience is by hiring an experienced wordpress website design company for your business. Their years of experience can help you to create a highly attractive and conversion-centric website design for your website and business.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How is the visual hierarchy used in website design?
The visual hierarchy plays a crucial role in enhancing your website design and making it more engaging. With the help of a well-planned visual hierarchy, websites can display the elements depending on their importance in the hierarchical order. You might be offering a helpful product/service to your site visitors but if the design you are offering fails to grab user attention then it will not only drive users away from your website but there are high chances that users will never return back to your website.
With the help of different principles like contrast, scale, balance, and more websites can place the elements in the right place and help impart elements in your website design to stand out from the crowd. Today every user scans the web page before they start engaging with the content inside it. If your website design is failing to offer an optimized visual hierarchy then it will not only impact the website design but there are high chances that users will leave your website without engaging with the content.
If you are looking to create an optimized visual hierarchy for your website then it’s always recommended to hire an experienced wordpress website design company for your website and business.
2. How can the visual hierarchy of a website be improved?
If you are looking to improve your website visual hierarchy then you can look into multiple things starting
- Make use of size to make important element pop-out
- Use the right color and contrast for better visibility of the important elements
- Divide the typography into three levels (heading, subheading, and then copy) to create a better typographic hierarchy
- Select the typeface categories and style carefully
- Make use of sufficient white space for better engagement
- Offre your design right structure
- And many more
If you are looking to improve your website visual hierarchy then it’s always recommended to get your website designed or redesigned by an experienced website design company who can bring their years of experience in creating a highly attractive and conversion-centric website design for your website and business.
3. How to test the effectiveness of your website’s visual hierarchy?
When it comes to testing the effectiveness of your visual hierarchy then there are a number of techniques that you can take into account. Most of the websites take the help of tools and sometimes website design experts to test the effectiveness of the website visual hierarchy.
The burning technique is one of the popular ways to check visual hierarchy. You Can just blur your vision then look at your website design. This way you will be able to finger out whether the elements you want to stand out really stand out from the crowd or not.
When you plan to highlight elements of your website design then you need to remember that you can’t highlight every small element in your website design. This way instead of enhancing your website’s visual hierarchy you might end up destroying it. When every small element stands out then the important elements that you are trying to highlight might fail to grab user attention. So testing your design is one of the best ways to make your website visual hierarchy more effective and result-driven.
If you are getting your website design by an award-winning website design company then you don’t have to worry about testing the effectiveness of your website visual hierarchy as they will ensure that your website comes with the best visual hierarchy that grabs user attention and encourages them to explore more about your website and business.
4. What are the four things that affect visual hierarchy?
When it comes to creating an effective visual hierarchy then there are a number of things websites should consider. Right from defining the website and business purpose to determining what site visitors may look into after landing on your website. But there are four important aspects of visual hierarchy that help the website to highlight the important element with a goal to drive more attention. Those are nothing but the color, size, alignment, and character. While constructing the visual hierarchy every website should consider these elements.
If you are getting your website designed by an experienced wordpress website design company then you don’t have to worry about the visual hierarchy as they will ensure to create effective and result-driven visual hierarchy and information architecture for better traffic and conversion.
5. Why is visual hierarchy important in the UX?
A well-planned visual hierarchy helps in guiding site visitor’s eyes on the important element in your website design. These important elements are identified based on what users might look for after landing on your website design. These important elements are created through selecting the right sizes, color & contrast, scale, group, and more. If you are easily able to identify the important element in your website design then it will encourage users to explore more about you7r website which will lead to a better user experience (UX).
If your business is looking to create a visual hierarchy that enhances your website design as well as user experience then it’s always recommended to partner with an experienced website design company for your website and businesses that can help you to create a highly attractive and result-driven website design that drives more traffic and conversion on your website.