Guide to Visual Hierarchy - PerfectionGeeks

An Ultimate Guide to Visual Hierarchy

March 14, 2023 02:32 PM

Visual Hierarchy

It's a great idea to be familiar with visual hierarchy if you are looking for a job in UX, whether as a writer, researcher, designer, or researcher.

This blog will explain what visual hierarchy is and why it is important. Then, we'll look at seven principles of visual hierarchy using examples from well-known websites.

You can skip to a specific section by using the clickable menu.

What is "visual hierarchy"?

Visual hierarchy is a fundamental principle in design. It's the idea that you can direct people's attention to the most important parts of a page's contents by manipulating design elements or visual characteristics.

You can influence the order that users read content by emphasizing certain elements on a page.

This simple but effective visual hierarchy was widely shared in the UX design community recently.

What is the importance of visual hierarchy in UX/UI design?

UX/UI design is dependent on visual hierarchy. Users' behavior is heavily influenced by previous interactions with digital products.

This helps to explain the patterns of user behavior that are frequently found in user research.

Simply put, an unplanned visual hierarchy can cause confusion by drawing attention to the wrong places and making it more difficult for users to find things.

A visual hierarchy that allows users to navigate your product easily (to find what they want where they expect it) will reduce friction and improve usability.

Visual hierarchy, mental models, and user expectations

This can be explained in another way: Imagine you are looking for a job at the company of your dreams. Google the company name and go to their homepage. To get to their careers page, where do you start?

You might scroll to the bottom and begin to search for a link that takes you to the "Careers", "About Us", or "Team" pages.

This is probably because you intuitively know how to do it. Based on your experience with other companies' careers pages, this is the reason why the page should be accessible from the footer.

It would take you longer to find the link to the "Careers page" if it was under another menu or in the top navigation. It is possible to become frustrated or confused if you are unable to locate it.

Mental Models

A mental model is the intuition that led you to scroll down to see the footer. These mental models represent what users think about a user interface. Because they are unique, different users might have different mental models about the same UI.

These models are also based on beliefs and not facts. The Norman Nielsen Group describes mental models as "model(s) of what users know or think they know about a system like your website".

User expectations

We've seen that user behavior is influenced by user expectations. These are in turn influenced by mental models. For a refresher, see our complete guide to mental models for UX design.

This basically means that UX/UI designers have to create a visual hierarchy to reflect common user expectations and allow them to complete their tasks at low interaction costs.

How does a UX designer accomplish this? Designers can manipulate many design elements to highlight the importance of each page or screen.

The next section will focus on principles of visual hierarchy.

What are the principles behind visual hierarchy?

Visual Hierarchy

This is not a complete list. There are many other principles of visual hierarchy that we won't be covering.

These seven principles will give you an overview to help with further exploration and research.

Attract attention with scale and size

Like the example, size and size (the relative sizes of elements to each other) are crucial to grabbing users' attention. Larger elements will be viewed first.

This principle can be used to design your visual hierarchy and direct your attention to the most important parts of your content.

It should be used with caution, just like all other principles. It can be detrimental to their impact if too many elements are added.

Use color and contrast to make elements stand out

You can influence the user's interaction with your UI by changing color and contrast.

As you would expect from color theory, bright colors draw more attention than those with duller tones. High contrast can also draw attention.

This idea is illustrated in the Tesla homepage example. A bright, bold color is used against a dark background to grab attention.

It is used in such a way, along with the scale and size principle, that it becomes very difficult to keep your eyes from it.

The car is the focal point of attention, and the CTAs are almost secondary.

For different effects, adjust typefaces

The main way to use typefaces are:

Content hierarchy improvement

You can draw attention to the most valuable content and divert the focus from the less important. This is illustrated by the simple, but powerful example from

Final Thoughts

If you want to create experiences that are quick and easy to use and help users achieve their goals, it is important to understand the importance of visual hierarchy.

Users will find it harder to complete tasks if visual hierarchies do not match their expectations. They can lead to frustration or confusion.

However, if you use the principles of visual hierarchy correctly, you can provide your users with the information they require, when and where they expect it.

It is important to be able to combine the basics (such as visual hierarchy), with an awareness of current and future industry trends when you are developing your UX design skills.

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Contact US!

India india

Plot No- 309-310, Phase IV, Udyog Vihar, Sector 18, Gurugram, Haryana 122022

+91 8920947884


1968 S. Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, United States

+1 9176282062

Singapore singapore

10 Anson Road, #33-01, International Plaza, Singapore, Singapore 079903

+ 6590163053