Managing user attention using design

Attention = perception + thinking

Manipulating people with the help of visual objects is not difficult, because a person trusts sight much more than any of the other senses. Visual content of a well-designed website draws a person's attention to important details, complementing them with a harmonious background. In fact, human attention is a selective perception, that is, we concentrate on a specific object, omitting secondary details.

There are several laws of perception that will help the web designer to competently compose the overall picture of the page:

  1. Kra and middle – Looking around the computer screen, the user best perceives and remembers objects located on the edges and in the center of the screen. Given that the majority of the world's population reads from left to right, the degree of perception will be approximately as follows: strong – maximum – average That is, the text or picture on the left side of the screen is well remembered, the central object will attract even more attention and memory, and the figure on the right will be remembered, but worse. Everything between – canet in flight;
  2. Complexity of the object– despite the popularity of minimalism and simplicity of geometric shapes in website design, complex and multi-purpose objects are perceived much better by the human brain. If you want to attract and attract the user – use more complex compositions. Most often, the human face becomes the object of close attention, so you can use abstract forms that remotely resemble a face – recognition of creatures of the same species as us is embedded in genes;
  3. Movement – the ability to use moving images in web design has opened up new horizons for all designers. The easiest way to attract the user's attention – use videos or "gifs" because people instinctively monitor movement, trying to subconsciously assess the level of danger: is the wife returning from the forest or is the lion sneaking up? If the movement does not carry danger, it arouses curiosity, that is, an attack of the same heightened attention that the designer seeks;
  4. Inconsistency – after seeing an unfinished picture or blurred edges of a photo, the human brain begins to "finish" on its own. and think of missing details. In literature and cinematography, understatement is called intrigue, but not every web designer or artist will risk using such a subtle side of human perception. However, you should always remember that people love secrets, intrigues and puzzles, so sometimes you need to take risks and leave room for the user's imagination.

Knowing the rules of human perception, managing the user's attention with the help of design will not be so difficult. However, when composing the main page of the site, the designer should remember that people of different social and age groups think differently. Middle-aged people have their own ideas about the world and problems, their interests and views are different from the views and ideas of teenagers, just as the thinking of a teenager is different from the thinking of a student. Therefore, it is very important to take into account the age, status and nature of the target audience of the future site in order to choose the visual content as accurately as possible and be able to direct the attention of each guest in the right direction.

How to attract the user's attention?

When a user searches for specific information on the Internet, he enters various search queries and opens dozens of pages. You can attract the user's attention with the help of the following factors:

  1. Contrast colors – color selection – this is the simplest and oldest way to draw attention to the desired graphic object. However, the balance of the color gamut should be precisely maintained here, so that the highlighted object only attracts attention, and does not annoy the visitor of the web page;
  2. Form contrast – any person will involuntarily pay attention to a round object among square forms – this is the simplest example of using a contrasting form. Having correctly selected the image, the web designer can arouse the interest of the user and force him to study the non-standard picture more carefully;
  3. Positioning – by moving the key object to the center of the page and making it slightly larger than the others, i.e. visually bringing it closer to the user, the designer will be able to draw the person's attention to it, while the rest of the visual content will play the role of background or shading mass;
  4. Movement – by adding a drop of movement to the desired picture (for example, a "dancing" headline or a simple "winking" emoticon), the web designer will instantly switch a person's attention to this object. The reasons for this behavior are described above.

Of course, this is far from all the ways to draw the user's attention to specific pictures or text, but these options are tested and 100% workers, which are not averse to use even by famous web designers.

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