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One of the more difficult parts of web design and business alike is the attempt to get people to notice what you need them to notice.

With so much noise and so many distraction on the web, it’s essential to figure out ways to get eyes where you want them. Bringing a combination of design know-how and marketing knowledge to projects you undertake can help you make the most important element on any page stand out above the others.

 

Page Elements and User Experience

Mobile User Experience

User experience is one of the most important things for a website to get right. If people aren’t comfortable and confident using your website, it’s less likely that they’ll choose to stay on it and even less likely they’ll navigate back to it. You only have a short time to convince someone to stay on your site — making sure the most important page elements stand out will probably help raise the number that stay to look around.

When someone can’t find something on the site, it may frustrate them and prevent them from continuing to use your page. You want to make the entire experience flow naturally even for someone with a low level of tech skill — depending on your audience.

Of course, if you’re developing for software engineers, it’s less important to keep things really obvious. If you’re developing for the general public, though, you should keep it simple and easy. Whether you’re using a website builder or starting from scratch, it’s essential to understand how to offer exactly what your users need.

 

Understanding Visual Cues

There are certain visual cues that are ingrained for people. For example, headings that are large generate more attention than smaller text or even smaller headings. A person looks at headings before they look at what’s under it — it helps create space between different topics and ideas. If you have large walls of text, use headings to help people get a sense of what they’re looking at and to direct them to the right information.

When two elements look similar on a page, a person will often think that they’re somehow related. So if you’re using borders, cutouts, or shapes to set ideas apart, try to use colors or design to show what’s related and what isn’t. Using very different colors and shapes will help set two separate topics apart in the same way.

 

Use Visual Content

User Interface Sketched on notebook paper

Visual content is often more effective at getting the point across than plain text. Visual content is processed more quickly and read more completely than plain text, too. It also generates 94 percent more page views than text alone.

Using something like a sliding menu to draw attention to a place where a user needs to put input can help you attract attention to that area of the page. You can also use stationary visual cues to pull a person’s attention. Things like arrows or images of lights functioning as a border with an animated sparkle can help set content apart.

Tips for Highlighting Important Elements

Don’t be afraid to get friendly with blank space. Sometimes having white space around an element will set it apart from the rest of the page.

Play with colors. If one color is brighter or bolder than another, it can help the element with that color hold its own even if the page has other things on it. If you’re using an html form generator to collect important information from users, for example, you might want to customize the form and make the background a different color. That way people’s eyes will be drawn to it and they might be more likely to fill it out.

Use a different style or border to differentiate it from the rest of the page. Remember that people are drawn to what’s different. It’s the same way patterns fade to the background because they repeat over and over but something that breaks the pattern gets immediate attention.

You can also use borders to keep different page elements separate from one another — that way you can display multiple options on one page without having them all meld together.

Keep things organized. You shouldn’t place elements on the page that don’t have a purpose — or pose pieces together without reason. Everything on your website needs to be thought out. This includes images, text, headings, backgrounds, and animations.

One of the best ways to make parts of your page stand out is to plan the entire thing in advance. That way nothing is left to chance.

To get a lot of data across quickly, consider using an infographic. It combines images with short, punchy pieces of text that many people would find interesting. Often infographics can convince people to read more drawn-out text under them by making them intrigued with the facts presented.

Consider using large, brightly colored buttons to guide people through your site. Doing so will assist them in navigating from one page to the next, making sure they find the essential information. It also helps keep them from clicking on things that aren’t buttons. Everyone knows how frustrating it is to click on what you think is a button only to find that it’s really just a stationary image. It can also make it easier for people using the site on a mobile device.

Understanding how to make important page elements stand out is essential for any web developer, blogger, or business owner. It helps make your entire website stand apart from similar sites run by competitors and help create your brand.

Once you understand how to make the most important, compelling information be the first thing a viewer processes, you’ll likely see the number of people who stay on your page — and return — rise.

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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