No matter what element you use on a web page, it is going to attract user’s attention, in a good or bad way, ‘cause naturally every design element has got its own visual weight. The greater this weight is, the more attention it is capable to draw. Is it a good or a bad news? A professional web designer knows the answer. Visual weight of each element is the best invisible but pushy way to direct user’s focus to the needed message. Combining a few objects, a web designer can predict with 100% certainty where a user will look next. This is what’s called visual direction (created by visual forces in fact).
So, what is the visual weight? Well, it’s a measure that should determine the force of an element which it’s got to anchor user’s attention. There are a few very primitive means to do that: to use the size, contrast, color and shape. For example, in combination of big and small elements, bigger ones would attract more attention. Red color also carriers more visual weight and naturally servers like a magnet on a page. However, the real visual force is made not only by one certain feature, but rather the whole combination of elements. That’s where a web designer has got to successfully combine and use the primitive features and guide people’s eyes through all the elements to the needed message on the site.
Don’t think that you can randomly combine the features and create successful visual force. It might happen, but the chances are low. More likely, the design will look chaotic and badly arranged. That is why, before presenting your project to the world, make sure to test all its characteristics time and again. By changing one of the elements you can either succeed or fail, always remember about it.
Shall we take a closer look at those primitive features that help to add visual weight?
- Size: big elements – pictures, videos, fonts – attract more attention, subsequently have more weight when compared to the rest elements on the site;
- Color: warm colors have more visual weight than cool colors. The heaviest color is red. Use red to draw user’s attention in a flash.
- Position: the elements located at the top of the site attract more attention than those ones that are located lower on the page;
- Use texture to add weight to the objects. Non-textured elements are not that attractive for the eye of a user;
- Comparing vertical and horizontal orientation, it’s obvious, that horizontal objects have less weight than vertical. The most weight is carried by diagonal objects.
Knowing these few basics you will be able to create interesting designs with the right focuses. Now your projects will be not only beautiful but also meaningful and effective. It’s true that a good website should capture user’s attention, but a great site has got to lead a user to the main message and make him or her make an action on the page. This is the true purpose! And I hope, this article will help your projects be a little bit better!