Color, Contrast and Text Size

Color, Contrast and Text Size

3 of the most important elements in designing the content of a webpage are color, contrast and font size.

These three elements are amazingly useful when used properly, and mean the difference between action or ignorance. Understanding the important part that these three elements play in capturing the visitor’s attention is critical to today’s online marketing.

Google Analytics finds the Interface

Google is the most recent company to understand the critical role that something as basic as color, contrast and text size have to do with creating a successful user experience. By updating their analytics interface, they have now overcome one of the primary obstacles to gaining great data from analytics.

You see, one of the most important tools available in analytics is segmentation. The old interface in Google Analytics suffered from major User Interface problems, as the primary tools were simply not seen by the users. I was constantly amazed in my seminars as most attendees simply had no idea how to access the segmentation features available in Google Analytics. The primary reason no one knew about it? The combination of color, contrast and text size resulted in a critical tool that was difficult to find and use.

That Old User Interface

You see, here is the old analytics UI (user interface). The link to access or create an advanced segment is in the upper right corner, in light grey text in a grey background. Most people were simply not aware the option was there or that it was clickable!

Is the User Path Clear?

Then, once the link was clicked the window opened up. Pre-set segments were available to the user, but there are no custom segments, these need to be set up. However, the tool/link to access the custom segments is now on the left side of the window, in another small font text link. It’s not underlined, and it is in a very low-impact position, blending into the background. Only after the user has figured out where to click and where to go are they able to then develop custom segments.

However – the battle wasn’t won yet – the next screen took users to a screen that focuses on “Dimensions” and “Metrics,” which is another article for another day about using clear text labels for instructions.  But that has been updated.  It’s not great, but better.

The new Google Analytics interface now focuses users on a clear path to creating segments. The link for creating advanced segments uses clearer colors, higher contrast and a larger text size.  IN addition, the primary linmk to creating new segments is now located on the left side of the page.  The old location was on the right side of the poage, where eyes rarely drift, especially where there are no contrasting elements to draw the users’s eyes.  By moving over to the left side of the page and presenting it in larger text and contrast, users will now be able to see this function as part of the interface, and not an afterthought.

See how these elements work together to draw your attention to the important feature?

How are you using color, contrast and text size?

Are you directing the users’s attention, or do users have to find their own way on your pages?

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About the Author:

Matt has taught Google employees how to understand and use Google Analytics, consulted with Experian on how to present data, developed online marketing training for both Proctor and Gamble and Johnson & Johnson and presented analytics methodologies to Disney, ABC & ESPN. As founder of SiteLogic, Matt teaches marketers how to create measurable and profitable strategic marketing plans.
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