Let’s try a simple exercise: open your Saved folder on Instagram or some of your boards on Pinterest and consider why you chose that particular post. Is it because it looks pretty? Did the information there make you think? Or perhaps there’s an unconscious urge that something about that image “feels right.”
That tingly sensation that comes over you when you spot something beautiful indicates effective visual design. It demonstrates that the content was created to make us feel something when we glance at it, whether through colors, composition, typography, or another design element. That piece stands out due to the web designer’s choice of colors, composition, and typography.
As designers, content creators, and visual beings, we strive to create visual cues that elicit the same tingling sensation in viewers. We aim to produce content that looks pleasing and conveys a message effectively.
But before that content even gets uploaded, you need to figure out the best way to communicate your ideas. No doubt, sculpting anything from an ashtray to painting a portrait or creating an engaging media wall can be quite the task. Here are five strategies for approaching visual design with captivating viewers in mind.
Follow Visual Hierarchy
An experienced web designer understands the foundations of design. They look at the world through visual balance, and balance is important when creating a visual hierarchy on a page for viewers’ intuitive experience. Visual hierarchy serves as an effective way of drawing attention to important parts of your message when crafting content.
To achieve this goal, alter text size, color, and placement. For instance, make the title the biggest and boldest element on the page, while less important text should be smaller and less prominent.
Tell Stories In a Unique Way
Storytelling is the most important aspect of quality content marketing. Even though we receive a lot of information every day through different communication channels, we only remember the stories that make us feel a certain way.
But just like with a joke, if a person listening to it doesn’t fully understand it, they won’t find it funny. You will only get a blank stare and start hearing crickets. The same thing happens with stories.
If the story is not structured properly, the viewers will miss out on the message behind it. Here is where visual hierarchy comes into play. It helps to create an intuitive flow that guides viewers through the story.
Content marketing has come a long way since the days of one-color Instagram posts with Arial text thrown all over a Photoshop canvas. Forms of visual storytelling are constantly upgrading due to technological advancements, but some forms of visual communication will never get old.
Have you heard a story about a data analyst named Chloe? One day, Chloe received a bunch of reports from her boss, and she spent weeks creating spreadsheets about her findings. But once those spreadsheets hit the boss’ desk, nothing clicked. Chloe just couldn’t find the words to explain her data verbally.
She went home in a huff and began experimenting with some graphics software. After extracting all the important information, she created a single, visually appealing infographic. Chloe brought the infographic to work the next day and watched as her boss’s face lit up. Her boss reacted with astonishment.
Thereafter, Chloe was referred to as the “infographic guru” at her company. Her infographics were widely praised for their clarity and aesthetic appeal.
And this is why everyone loves infographics so much: they show dry information in a way that is visually appealing, easy to understand, and sometimes even fun. You can almost see them as a custom QR code made for people, they hold all the information you could need, in one simple image.
Comic books and graphic novels are examples of sequential art used to tell a story. Their narratives can range from how to properly wash white clothes to exploring pizza’s rich history.
By breaking up your story into chapters told through different characters, any idea can be presented more captivating and immersively. Comics can be published as:
- Social media posts
- Product manuals
- Whitepapers, etc.
Comics offer one of the most effective storytelling methods, using words and pictures to explain concepts that might otherwise be difficult to explain. With comics, readers get a much clearer understanding of ideas and scenarios that would otherwise be difficult to describe verbally.
Comics offer an engaging way to tackle philosophical and complex concepts, illustrate the perspective of different characters, and decipher the subtleties of a story. They can also provide a unique opportunity for readers to develop their interpretations and theories, leading to a much more immersive and stimulating reading experience.
These are all reasons comics can lower bounce rates on your website and make your visitors more engaged and, therefore, more interested in what you offer.
According to predictions, 21% of marketers will use short videos as their primary form of marketing in 2023. This means that more and more brands understand the importance of short videos as a great way to communicate their ideas and stories. So, what are you waiting for?
Videos are an excellent medium for conveying narratives visually. They have the ability to evoke strong emotions in viewers through the use of live-action footage, animation, music, and voiceover. You can use videos to talk about anything, from people to goods to abstract concepts.
Whatever you choose to film, make it short, as TikTok and current marketing trends are affecting the attention span of the consumer market. Think of your videos as afternoon snacks. Serve a small portion of an idea, but leave room for the main course on your website, newsletters, or any other longer form of text.
Whatever form of visual communication you choose, your message should inform the design rather than the other way around. When you have a clear idea of what you want to say, it’s much simpler to make visual cues that follow the message.
Choose Your Imagery Wisely
Images can be an effective means of communication, but they may also distract from your message if not chosen carefully. Ensure your chosen imagery demonstrates your point and appeals to your target market.
Consider an important issue. Don’t just pick any random image from the web and assume it conveys your point. Instead, carefully curate and select stock images that support your argument and fit within its context.
If you want your message of unity and diversity to be effective, avoid using stock photos that only feature people of one race or ethnicity. A more suitable alternative would be using images from various cultures and backgrounds.
When designing visual components of a design, it is important to consider their intended meaning and target audience carefully. Doing this will result in more captivating presentations or communications that resonate with your intended audience.
Keep Your Audience in Mind
What happens if you begin discussing C++ in front of a group of elementary schoolers? You could end up with a lot of confused faces, blank stares, and crickets. The same applies to content marketing: you need to establish what audience you’re targeting, and write with their interests in mind.
When creating visuals for your content, remember who you’re making them for. Think about what your audience likes, what kind of content creators they follow, and what they’re interested in to make visuals that will appeal to them and get your message across.
Your ultimate goal is to provide your audience with visual content that they can connect to. This is why you should track your content’s performance to see what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to try out different visual designs, such as infographics, comics and short videos, to see what sticks.
Always Keep It Simple
Let’s say you’re the owner of a small company that just released a line of organic beauty products and wants to get the word out about it. The last thing you want to do is bombard potential customers with an overload of information. Simplicity is key.
Be sure to keep your visuals and messages concise and to the point. If you’re making a product explainer video, ensure it’s no longer than two minutes. If you’re writing blog posts, keep them to around 500 words. As much as you’d like to share every tiny detail, less is usually more regarding visual content.
Visual communication can be used in a variety of ways to communicate complex concepts and ideas—from comics and short videos to infographics and product explainers.
But no matter what form of visual communication you choose, make sure you keep your audience in mind and always keep it simple. Consider what kind of visuals will resonate the most with your target audience and use them to bring your message to life.