Web Design: Manage the Eye

When someone comes to your Web site, they quickly scan the whole page and look for digestible pieces of information.  Some aspects of your user interface attract attention more than others—images are more eye-catching than the text, bold is more more attractive than plain text.

The human eye scans; it in non-linear.  Some web pages are so busy that a user’s eye simply can’t settle on the content. It moves from one element to another, and no information gets through. Then like a shot, you’ve lost your visitor’s attention.

To achieve your Web goals, you must focus users’ attention to the sspecific areas of the site you want them to notice.  Use visual elements to help your visitors to get where you need them to go. When visitors are better orientated, the more they trust the company the site represents; the less thinking you require of your usrrs, the better users will like your site and your company.

According to Krug’s first law of usability, your Web page should be obvious and self-explanatory. If the navigation and site architecture aren’t intuitive, the number of question marks in your users’ mind grows and your site is harder for users to comprehend. A clear structure, moderate visual clues, and easily recognizable links can help users to find their path to their (and your) aim.

When designing Web pages, be sure they are easy to look at and visually appealing.  Avoid Web pages with too many elements that shout for your users’ attention.  Draw your users’ attention to where you want the to go.
To focus your users’ attention, pay attention (pun intended) to the following factors:

  • Size - To users, bigger means more important
  • Contrast - Dark on light, light on dark.  Your users will look toward contrasty items.
  • Color - Bright colors attract attention.  But, do not over do it.  Not everything can be red.
  • Boldness - Bold text stands out from blocks of regualr text.
  • White Space – White spaces are beneficial for visitors and give a feeling of openness.
  • Position - Your users’ eyes begin at the top and scan to the bottom.  Place the important elements of your page accordingly.
  • Dynamism - Your users’ eyes are drawntoward movement.
  • Content - Content that is germane to your users’ need will attract their attention.  Needless to say, your pages should be content-rich.

By using the above factors, you can draw your users’ attention to the elements you need them to see.  If you balance these factors, every page will have a focal point, a place to start for every user, and both you and your users will achieve your Web goals.

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