When you pickup newspaper in the morning, what you do? Do you start reading from the first word printed and go on reading till the last word? No you don’t do that. You read headlines first and read full report under a news headline that you find interesting.
Here the purpose of headlines in a newspaper is to highlight certain words, to give a hint of the text and if the reader feels interested he may go through the details. The news are arranged according to priority. International or national news on front pages, rest of the news according to significance they have in the reader’s life, follow on other pages.
Almost similar concept is effective in creating a website. Everything is not meant for everyone. The right person should be able get the information they want after minimum clicks. This can be accomplished if the web design team applies content hierarchy to the website.
How content hierarchy is achieved?
Primarily this concept is concerned with the areas of the webpage that are most watched and which capture visitors’ attention. Visitors of a webpage move through the content horizontally first, focusing on the catchy headings and if some thing attracts their interest they may click or select to read the detailed content.
This horizontal focus is on the upper and middle sections of the page, stressed more on the upper section and a only bit lesser at the middle section. If these two sections of a page do not offer anything appealing then visitor may move his focus towards the left vertical section of page.
This is quite important piece of information for a web designer. He can arrange content in a hierarchy that complies with this pattern of viewing a webpage. He must consult his CXO and client to discuss and freeze the messages that are meant for the visitors. The client can define the importance of those messages from business point of view.
The client should also clarify the messages he wants to convey, what is purpose of messages per se the business and what is the expected outcome if the service related to the message is availed. These conversations must be formally recorded and documented.
This will help the website designers to ascertain the importance of messages the most important messages or content which is related to the core business must appear at top. The services which implement the business ideas should be placed at the middle position to describe that how these services can be availed. This content should be either in the rest of the sections or on the left vertical side.
Benefits achieved through Content hierarchy
- The client will have a website which is the ideal representation of his business.
- The unnecessary content is weeded out in the early stages of discussion, so a leaner and a cleaner interface is offered to the user, for the positive UX.
- The relevance of the content and correct placement of content will bring good business.
- Content hierarchy helps in a design on the basis of viewing habits of users, so the users will have the right content at primary locations, for immediate attention and consequent action.
- It creates an emotional impact on visitors senses by most effective content placement and ensures that a casual onlooker becomes a potential customer