The concept of the visual hierarchy has been applied in design much before the Internet came into the forefront. Visual Hierarchy determines the order in which people view and process the information put out, regardless of whether digital or print. It plays a very crucial part of creating an ideal user experience and impression of the brand(s). The main aim and purpose of defining a clear visual hierarchy are to guide people towards the content or actions of importance. When in print, the onus would be more on the caption of a heading of the advertisement whereas, in the digital product, it could be more of a branding messaging or a call to action.
Visual hierarchy is an exceptional way of creating an orderly and purposeful customer experience while striving to improve the chances of achieving a strategic outcome. So here are few steps UX designers can follow to understand and achieve a clear sense of visual hierarchy in digital products and give the users an amazing experience.
Defining Brand Objectives and UX:There are various methods through which product teams define specific goals for each section of the products. There is one tried and tested technique of shaping the definition of UX goals i.e. S.M.A.R.T.which translates to Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Trackable. Brand objectives are also equally important as these reflect the goals of a business. Preferably, a collaborative visual hierarchy workshop will be suitable and the most effective way of documenting the UX and brand objectives of the various phases of the customer’s journey.
Ranking Actions and Content:After setting the UX and brand objectives, it is time to define the appropriate visual hierarchy. This refers to the content, each piece of action, and document during the subsequent task of designing. So when designers start getting acquainted with taking visual hierarchy into account while designing, it opens up possibilities while adding real depth to user interfaces and aid in creating stories that it would narrate.
Building Visual Hierarchy into the Design:
The third step is laying out the necessary templates, deciding upon the placement of highly ranked elements. Multiple variations may be needed to cater to a range of scenarios and it all must be created at this stage to ensure that nothing is overlooked.
Introducing a visual hierarchy workflow into the design process is sure to result in some great user experience. It can be weaved into every element of a brand’s imagery, composition, tone, target audience. etc. The deeper the design, the more appealing it appears to the customers and the more focussed the experience is bound to be. It is evident, a clear visual hierarchy is not only beneficial to boost UX but also creates a sustainable workflow that provides the design process with a strategic focus, which is very crucial in today’s modern product design environment.