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Visual Hierarchy

By Ola Laurin

Introduction

One of the primary objectives for a designer is to help the user interpreting the information presented to them. This is achieved by structuring the content thru layout, colours and fonts. Links and notes by Lise Statelman for Hackdesign: https://hackdesign.org/lessons/19

Added by Ola Laurin: “Read about the basics of visual hierarchy, then compare the 'poor example' with the 'better example' that the author illustrates for us. The text and images in each example are blurred out so you can focus on the layout in terms of hierarchy. You can achieve a similar effect by squinting at a layout.

1 On Visual Hierarchy

Design isn’t about making something pretty, although that’s part of it. Design is largely about function. It’s about making an interface work so well that the user never stumbles. Much of a good UI depends on a notion called visual hierarchy. Visual hierarchy, while it may sound technical, is really a pretty simple concept.

Added by Ola Laurin: “Read the article and think about the author's ‘hierarchist's toolbox,’ and add to the list of ways you can visually set things apart (scale, shape, weight, white space, texture, tone, etc). Hint: think of contrast or visual opposites.Then, visit some of the websites featured on land-book.com and consciously think about where your eyes travel across the page. What are you drawn to first, then next, and so on? You'll also probably notice a similarity between these websites, but hey, it works!

2 Understanding Visual Hierarchy in Web Design

Visual hierarchy is one of the most important principles behind effective web design. This article will examine why developing a visual hierarchy is crucial on the web, the theory behind it, and how you can use some very basic exercises in your own designs to put these principles into practice. Design = CommunicationAt it's core, design is all about visual

Added by Ola Laurin: “If you're dealing with organizing text-focused content, this article will be especially useful. Again, think of all the ways you can achieve hierarchy using type (size, weight, style, color, uppercase vs. lowercase). Even a sole font-family can come in dozens of weights and styles, like H&FJ's Gotham.

3 Hierarchy as Expressed Through Typography

Layout, for both print and screen, is one of the most important aspects of graphic design. Designs that extend across multiple pages or screens, whether containing large or small amounts of type, must be carefully controlled in a way that is enticing and is easy for all to access. Careful control of visual hierarchy is a key aspect of the

Added by Ola Laurin: “This is a great article that links to even more resources. Hint: the key takeaways are in the summary at the end.

4 How Well Does Your Design Communicate?

The goal of visual design is to communicate. How you organize and prioritize your elements conveys valuable information about their relative importance. Visual hierarchy aids comprehension, reinforces your message, and guides your visitor through your story. photo credit: dougbelshaw What is Visual Hierarchy?A hierarchy is an organization of items into different levels of relative importance. Visual hierarchy is naturally enough

Added by Ola Laurin: “Written in 2007 but still very relevant. Read this article, especially the section titled, ‘Contrast’ and look at the visual examples (about Optimizr) that took the content from having no meaning to possessing a clear hierarchy of importance.

5 Contrast and Meaning

Issue № 236by Published in Andy RutledgeGraphic Design · If you're a designer, you work to communicate and convey meaning. So it's important that you understand the mechanisms by which things and ideas acquire meaning; more than any other factor, your grasp of these fundamentals determines your ability to communicate effectively. Without fundamentals, you will flounder when faced with complex

Added by Ola Laurin: “Revisit this article from Lesson 11, Part 2 for this so eloquently worded article on visual hierarchy. As author Joshua Porter said, "…you use hierarchy to tell a story, to provide context that culminates in the action being taken." (Check out those little illustrations too!)

6 Bonus: Visual Hierarchy and Weight

We have many words for the frustration we feel when an interface isn't directing us to what we need to know. Loud, messy, cluttered, busy. These words have been appropriated from other parts of life, of course, but we need them to express our feeling of being overwhelmed visually by content on a screen or page. We need them to

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