Visual Hierarchy can be defined as “the arrangement or presentation of elements in a way that implies importance. In other words, visual hierarchy influences the order in which the human eye perceives what it sees” (Wikipedia).
- Visual Hierarchy
Every business has a priority order in which they want web users to use their websites. In Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think Chapter 7, case studies of effective and ineffective visual hierarchy is explained. The problem that websites have is the lack of proper visual hierarchy that leads the web audience what to do first and where to go next.
Solution #1- Use numbers to demonstrate step by step what your customer needs to do. Whether its what they can do to contact you or how they can find what they came to look for; numbered steps provides a great visual aide for first time users. What seems obvious to you will not be obvious to the majority of your audience. Ensuring that your website provides direction for its newer users will create a better user-experience.
Solution #2- Take advantage of conventional wisdom by placing level of importance in order from left to write or top to bottom. Just like how the logo should always be somewhere in the top left to take your user back home, the critical steps or information should be ordered accordingly. Utilizing photos and different fonts may all you need to demonstrate the level of importance. Organizing data visually left to right is a simple visual cue you can use to lead users through specific content.
2. Over-promoting your Home Page
“Anything with a prominent Home page link is guaranteed to get more traffic—usually a great deal more—leading all of the site’s stakeholders to think, “Why don’t I have one?” (Krug, p. 111)
When deciding to add more promotional ads to your home page, always be aware of it’s potential to distract users from the purpose of being at your home page.
Solution – “Take turns using the same space on the Home Page”
Limiting promotional content to a designated area will allow your business to still benefit from Home Page ads while not becoming a victim of “overgrazing”. Being mindful of ad placement is necessary to keep the focal point on your business and website to its priorities.
Krug, S. (2006). Don’t make me think!: A common sense approach to Web usability. Berkeley, Calif: New Riders Pub.