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Visual Hierarchy in UX: Definition

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Summary: A clear visual hierarchy guides the eye to the most important elements on the page. It can be created through variations in color and contrast, scale, and grouping.


Have you ever encountered a webpage that was so busy with various design elements that you had no idea where to even begin to look? If you struggle to find focus on a screen, it’s likely that the layout is missing a clear visual hierarchy.

The page’s visual hierarchy controls the delivery of information from the system to the end user — it lets users know where to focus their attention.

Definition: The visual hierarchy of a 2D display (webpage, graphic, print, etc.) refers to the organization of the design elements on the page so that the eye is guided to consume each design element in the order of intended importance.

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