What is Visual Cueing?
Most of what we see is selected and reconstructed by our brain. The Visual Cueing effect describes how our brains can be directed to focus on particular elements of a display or image using visual cues. The most obvious example of Visual Cueing is the use of arrows to draw attention to an important element.
Visual cues are essential components of UX design. However, they are also useful tools for marketers when producing content. There are a number of common visual cues that we have trained our brains to take notice of. Arrows, for example, are used for anything from lighting the way to an emergency exit to telling you in which order infographics are meant to be read. They are synonymous with movement and progress so are particularly effective to not only draw attention to something but also encourage people to continue on a certain path. Some studies have shown that individuals found randomly-appearing targets more quickly when their location were previously indicated by an arrow.
Other visual cues include:
- Full-width horizontal lines to indicate the end of a section
- Short lines or boxes to highlight a field to be filled in
- Shading and borders to emphasise a contained section
- Small circles that represent “agree” or “disagree” options.
By incorporating specific shapes or graphic elements, the order, purpose or hierarchy of a webpage can be easily communicated. This improves the processing efficacy and usability of your content.