Visual hierarchy has a great influence on how a website is perceived. A choice of colors further accentuates the influence, even if it is only black & white. Colors have individual significance and psychological impact. There is a hierarchy of colors in terms of influence. As per a typical color hierarchy, red and black grab more attention than soft colors like yellow, purple and cream. The order of colors with varying degree of influence plays an important role in interaction design.
However, visual effects of colors can be enhanced or toned down by means of contrast. Colors are of two types – contrasting and complementary. A set of both contrasting and complementary colors in right proportions draws greater attention to the defined areas of a user interface. It matters a lot to visual hierarchy when it comes to highlighting call to action for better conversions. According to experienced web design professionals, a website should have compelling visuals in both contrasting and complementary colors. For instance, sandy surface in contrast with blue canvas makes a dynamically appealing image. Links clearly stand out on a white background for typography.
The layout of user interface for a website is the place with huge scope to control visual hierarchy. Colors are at play along the length and breadth of visual hierarchy. On a layout, the areas not within the notice of users should be highlighted more than the areas within the reach of users. The links and buttons which remain fixed at a place in the corner or at the bottom are easily accessible. For example, logo, contact, social media links, menu, etc. The fixed links and buttons need to be visually highlighted enough to get noticed.
Visual hierarchy management is one of the best practices for interaction design. Hick’s law applies when it comes to deciding a layout with neither minimum nor maximum options for users. More options for an action mean a longer decision-making process. The number of options for an action to be taken by users should not be too many or less. According to Hick’s law, a perfect balance is required. It is a tricky balance to keep a fair number of options for every website. With too many elements, the visual hierarchy of user interface may flatten.
Spacing is another influence on visual hierarchy of interaction design. Spacing between two design elements or visuals exerts influence in two different ways: negative space and proximity. According to the visual-psychological school of thought, users can easily perceive similar or closely placed together elements.
Negative space, which is referred to as white space, is another way of spacing. It is a web design trick to make the most of white space as another design element. With right amount of white or negative space between two design elements, the user interface can be the center of attraction. Also, proximity and negative space should not be more or less than each other. These two types of spacing should be in balance, which only web design experts can do.