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What Is Visual Hierarchy

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Design has been a part of human culture from the dawn of time. We have used and continue to utilise design to express vital messages since have advanced.  Every piece of our design should contribute to enhancing our users’ experience and more clearly communicating what we want to convey through the design.

The idea of visual hierarchy is the arrangement of things to emphasise their relative importance. Designers organise visual qualities, such as menu symbols, so that people may quickly comprehend information. Designers affect users’ perceptions and steer them to desired behaviours by putting up materials logically and strategically.

Visual hierarchy for instance indicates that the header will be at the top of the design, in the biggest font, with each following element scaled according to its relevance. This aids the user in comprehending the flow and determining where to look first.


Hierarchy is a visual design paradigm that designers employ to demonstrate the significance of the each page/contents screen’s by adjusting the following characteristics:

  1. Color – Vibrant colours tend to draw more attention than subdued ones.
  2. Proximity – Elements that are close together appear to be connected.
  3. Size – Users are more likely to notice bigger components.
  4. Contrast — Colors with high contrast are more appealing.
  5. Out-of-alignment components shine out more than aligned ones.
  6. Repetition – Repetitive patterns might imply that the topic is linked.
  7. More whitespace surrounding components attracts the eye to them.
  8. Richer textures stand out more than normal textures in terms of feel and style.

A successful visual hierarchy in user interface design helps enlighten, persuade, and convince people who have expectations – particularly regarding the appearance of an interface. So, in order for a website, app, or comparable product to succeed, its pages or screens must be structured in such a way that consumers’ confusion is minimised, maximum empathy is shown, and something enjoyable to see is provided.


  1. Using Size to gain focus of users and improve visibility- Size is a simple yet important aspect that may emphasise key features over others and focus the viewer’s attention to a specific location. One may instantly draw the reader’s attention by boosting the size of a component. One must be cautious not to enlarge too many elements or raise the size in such a manner that other components on the screen lose prominence.
  • Making things show out by using better colours and contrast- Colors can be used to depict the weight and volume, may be utilised to emphasise components in a design. Brighter colours often attract the reader’s attention much more than boring, unsaturated hues. Colours with stronger contrast will look heavier and closer to the observer, giving them a greater sense of significance. In the sample below, brighter colours appear closer when placed against a darker backdrop and further away when placed against a lighter background.
  • Using space to guide the user- The negative distance between components in a design is referred to as whitespace. It can be used to gather items together or divide them to emphasise their significance.
  • Texture and tone have the ability to draw focus- Even if certain items on the screen are smaller or lower than others, appropriate textures and tones can be utilised to draw the viewer’s attention.
  • Element’s proximity- Positioning items closer together might give the reader the impression that they are linked, which can encourage them to continue reading or interact more.


Visual hierarchy is used in user experience design and behavioural design, such as web design, to prioritise navigating elements and content, such that viewers emphasis on components that improve system utilization or enhance the likelihood that they discover information that contains cognitive nudges. Because of the importance of colour perception, colour is one of several aspects considered in the construction of a visual hierarchy.


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