DESIGN ELEMENTS:  point line shape form tone texture colour letterform     FOR TEACHERS

DESIGN PRINCIPLES:  figure-ground balance contrast cropping hierarchy scale proportion pattern
INDEX   Members only

HIERARCHY can be established by

by being above or on the left side because we read down the
page and from the left (another important position is in the

by being BIGGER

by being warmer or brighter

by being lighter/darker on a dark/light background

by being 'heavier'

            The foundation of all good
             information design is a
             well-designed hierarchy

A visual hierarchy means that information is organized to
make the scanning and understanding of it easy and

Develop an order of emphasis of your information, and
be sure your visual hierarchy reflects that order
If everything is bold, nothing will be emphasized. Keep in mind
that images usually draw the eye before text, so if your image
isn't your most important element, reduce it's contrast or shrink
it down.

The primary task of graphic design is to create a strong,
consistent visual hierarchy, where important elements
are emphasized,and content is organized logically and
also at
The overall ..... organization of the page is crucial to
drawing the reader into your content
To better understand what variables influence this visual
hierarchy, an eye tracking study was conducted
(Faraday, 2000). The main factors were found to be size,
scanning, images, text style, and position.
Hierarchy and Contrast: The Basis of Good Design
by Margo Halverson
The basic question:
What do you want the viewer to see first?
Graphic design is getting a bad reputation on the Web ..... In
other media, such as print publishing, the role of design in the
production process is fairly well understood ..... I believe if
anything the role of the graphic designer has been overlooked
and that it should be fundamental in improving the usability of
any web site especially when it comes to its information
Information Hierarchies
Information Hierarchies are the cornerstone of good usability.
Creating an informational hierarchy for your web site is
about organising your content into logical,
user-orientated sections. It is also about prioritising
content in order of importance.
This is an area where graphic designers have been hugely
influential in print publishing for years. You only need to pick up
any newspaper to see how the size and positioning of headlines
indicates to you which stories are of the greatest importance.
Using visual cues to establish hierarchies of information can be
achieved by considering factors such as:
        Relative Size
        Placement and Position

The same information in both, but creating a visual hierarchy
(right) makes the information clear