Visual hierarchy is one of the differences between a website that looks “Wow” and a website that looks “Okay”. Visual hierarchy is the line of distinction between a website that influences the decisions of the target audience and a website that remains impassive to users. There are some principles of aesthetics behind the visual hierarchy of user interface design. Interface design with visual hierarchy serves several purposes including inviting attention to call to actions, encouraging user registration, enhancing the overall user experience, promoting something online, etc.
To say in precise terms, visual hierarchy refers to the design elements with a focus on aesthetics which command the user attention and keep hold of it. Visual hierarchy is not bound to a set of guidelines. There is no fixed way to achieve it. It can be evolved, modified and invented based on different requirements. Creative, experienced designers know how to dominate the game and stay on top.
Size is one of the essential building blocks of visual hierarchy in web design. The bigger is a boat in size, the stronger is its motion in the ocean. Likewise, size matters to interface design. Something bigger is always noticeable but may not be better. That is why insight into the user psychology with regards to visuals helps to determine the size of different design elements for website interface.
One of the visual hierarchy principles is that the bigger size of clickable buttons on the user interface makes it more engaging. To say precisely, bigger size makes it a lot easier to click the buttons, which requires almost no effort. This principle is applicable to the design of call to actions. A call to action is the final destination where every user is expected to reach. A 10x larger call to action “Download Now” is responsible for more conversions. Of course, the font size and the font style should be in harmony with each other.
The “SIZE” principle of visual hierarchy for interface design is equally applicable to headings or titles of articles or landing pages. It helps to make them easily noticeable and readable, thereby making the content visually interactive for information-centric websites like blogs and digital magazines. Titles of a bigger size easily draw attention to the content and make reading ease on the screen of mobile devices as well.
In eCommerce, salability of products depends on the size of visuals to some extent. It is obvious that large visuals draw more attention than small ones. A large-size image of a product works as a call to action, which piques users’ interest in the product thereby helping them to take an informed decision regarding the purchase. Here images play a more important role than product description or copy.
If the ‘size’ principle of visual hierarchy is applied deliberately according to define purposes and specific requirements, it helps to create a positive perspective on the user’s mind.
Watch out this space for a discussion on other essential principles of visual hierarchy in interaction design…