In the mind of every artist, there’s a vision that drives them to create fine works of art. The same can be said for web designers who put a lot of work in creating aesthetic websites.
Designing a website isn’t as simple as it seems. It’s the same with art–you can’t just rush it. With that being said, there’s a science behind the creation of a website. Before designing the entire page all at once, the web designer should plan and prioritise a few elements in order.
If you want your website to come out attractive and tidy, you can look at the hierarchy of website design and visuals as a guide. Here are the 5 factors of website visual hierarchy.
Visit any website, and what do you see first? It’s probably the giant texts right in front of you.
Size makes a difference because it’s what our eyes see first when we read. For example, take a look at the present image above. What’s the first thing you looked at? It’s probably the giant texts highlighted in bold.
Our minds are easily attracted to bold structures and designs, which is why size is a huge factor to consider. Highlight words in bold to emphasise key terms or phrases.
The larger the text, the easier it is to attract a viewer. However, you shouldn’t go beyond the limit by making the text too bold or huge just for the sake of it. Make a sizeable text that’s big enough to read at first glance, while being proportionate to the other elements surrounding it.
Aside from the size of texts, colours are a priority to consider. Colours schemes define the tone of a website. It starts with the psychological reasoning behind every colour. For example, colours such as black and red easily grab attention, while beige and soft pink aren’t exactly eye-catchers.
Nonetheless, it’s up to the designer on how the well certain colours can be utilised. This is when the power of contrast comes into play. By balancing bright and soft colours, you can create a contrast that complements both sides, enhancing the power to attract the attention of the viewer.
However, grabbing the attention of the viewer isn’t always the priority. Sometimes, letting the size of the texts is enough, while the colours can define your webpage. For example, prioritise soft colours such as tan or beige, then highlight texts in bold for emphasis on the content. This way, you’ll grab the attention of the viewer without resorting to powerful colours.
Once you have your elements such as size and colours in order, the next thing to do is to arrange them.
Connect the visual elements by aligning certain texts or images in an organised fashion. Prioritise important details such as lists and menus by placing them on top of the page. You can also place text columns on the side to make them a priority for the reader.
Keep an organised structure of design elements so the reader can keep up with the pacing of the layout. Too many texts can interfere with the reader’s patience, making it a liability. However, in this case, the text itself isn’t the culprit but how it’s arranged.
The more visual elements you’ll display, the more you’ll have to organise them in a well-structured layout. Balance each element that’s enough for the reader to digest in a few seconds.
Just because there’s an empty space, doesn’t mean you have to fill it with content. This is referred to as “spacing”.
Spacing is an important factor that’s also related to layout. Knowing when to put blank spaces in between visual elements is a great way to guide readers through navigation. This technique also resembles minimalist themes, where you let visuals speak louder for itself, without diving too much into details.
Leaving enough blank spaces is an ideal way to let the reader’s mind relax and take a break in between. The eyes can look at so many disjointed visuals in one look, so it’s important to provide the reader with in-between blank spaces.
After all is said and done, determine the style you’re going for and use distinct textures to draw enough attention that will give a good first impression to the viewer.
How do you determine a certain style anyway? You can start by choosing a font that sets the tone. Choose a font that complements the setting and environment of your website. Then, add some images that support the fonts and colours.
As a rule of thumb, choose a font that isn’t too distracting. Let the font’s “texture” speak for itself while complementing its surrounding design elements.
These 5 factors are all part of the bigger plan, which is to create a website that’s pleasing to the viewer. Learn how to balance these design elements. An organised website layout will attract more visitors in the future, only if you know how to utilise it.
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