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Follow the arrows at the bottom of each page for the tutorial, "How to Design a Website".
To study a particular aspect of website design refer to this tutorial index.


Focal Point
Creating an eye catching center of interest on your web pages

The importance of a focal point

Every webpage should have a focal point. Each page on your website should have an eye catching central point of interest. The central subject of a webpage should also be the center of attention for your visitors. This can be accomplished through the graphic layout of the page or through a logical progression of thought. Your content and web page design should complement each other.

Below is an example of a page that has a lot of potential but lacks an eye catching point of impact. The balance is such that it is difficult to decide where to begin and what area is of the most importance. You must catch your visitors eye and emphasize the key area of the page. This is a critical point to consider when you develop your webpage layout. The following image is an example of poor webpage structure. There is no focal point on this webpage. The eye dosen't know where to go first.

Example of a webpage that lacks a focal point

Example of a web page that lacks a focal point

Webpage structure and focus

Without a focal point or center of interest a website page, displayed on the Internet, blurs into a mish-mash of dislocated text and graphics. The main message is obscured by a lack of structure because of poor webpage layout. Such inferior organization is prevalent on poorly designed websites. Remember that every page on a website must have a central idea or subject that should be emphasized for maximum effect. This is the focal point as shown in the example below. This webpage has a clear focal point. The layout takes the eye to the center of interest.

Example of a webpage with a clear focal point

Example of a webpage with a clear focal point

Graphics and white space can play a major role in creating a focal point or area of interest on a webpage. Using white space and/or images and colors you must present a logical path that the eye can follow around your webpage. In this way the main subject of your message can be brought into focus. When you do this your visitors can easily determine if the subject matter that you are promoting is relevant to their search.

The significance of a focal point

Your visitors will most likely skim quickly through your webpages looking for a particular subject or product. You must present a focal point on each page that draws the eye to the main topic or webpage hotspots and make it easy for your visitors to decide if this is the information that they are seeking.

A properly accentuated focal point will make skimming your webpages easy for your visitors and provide for greater user interaction. This is the best way to ensure that you are getting your message across to them. Wether you are selling a product or providing information you will need to keep the focal point, of your webpage, obvious to the people who will be reading it. This is the most critical factor in webpage layout.



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