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Visual fluency

Reviewed by expert Scientifically proven

Words are great indeed. But visuals have somewhat a different power than words. And when you combine both rightly, the power of communication is indeed strengthened. Apparently, 80% of the neurons in our brains deal with processing visual inputs every minute. Well, what exactly is visual fluency? Visual fluency is our ability to interpret visuals to understand or learn something. We deal with visual fluency on a daily basis. Think about it. When we see an approaching bus, we can come to a conclusion whether we have enough time to catch it. It’s just the same in every scenario. If you are successful in conveying a message to the target audience to solve their problems or to learn something through visuals, then you have the advantage!

Table of contents:
  1. The role of visual fluency in digital marketing
  2. How to use visual fluency towards Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?
    1. 1. Embed simple visuals, not too complex!
    2. 2. Use colors wisely to intensify the effect of visual fluency
    3. 3. Use gentle transitions for motion visuals
  3. Final thought

The role of visual fluency in digital marketing

Visual components such as images, fonts, sketches, drafts etc. play a vital role in digital technology. In order to make the most of visuals towards Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), we need to be fluent in visual communication. From the UX perspective, visual fluency is all about embedding visual components into your website which can be easily read, understood and most importantly easily interpreted to learn something or to solve problems. If your visuals fail to cater to these requirements, then it will most likely detract user engagement.

How to use visual fluency towards Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

1. Embed simple visuals, not too complex!

The key here is to make a relationship to the message you plan to convey, using visuals which are easy to understand. As a visitor lands on a webpage, every sight that the eyes catch is transmitted to the brain for identification. The less the effort is for the process (known as cognitive ease), the more enjoyable the entire experience would be; therefore the better the user engagement will be. And yes, it works the other way around for poor visual fluency. If your target audience fails or has difficulty figuring out what a certain visual is about and to build a relationship with your brand message, then count yourself to have one of the greatest fails towards the Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

2. Use colors wisely to intensify the effect of visual fluency

Even though the visuals in your website are clearly understandable and directly related to the brand's message, poor usage of colors can destroy it all. Colors are the tools for the creation of emphasis as well as proper visual hierarchy. If the visuals are full with vibrant colors, it can disturb the process of recognizing the visuals for their true purpose because our minds tend to be too distracted with the colors. It indeed reduces visual fluency. Let me give you a top tip about colors that work great towards visual fluency. Use neutral colors; basically, black and white for the most part of the visual with one vibrant color to the part where you need to highlight. The user's attention is immediately drawn towards such highlighted colors. If possible, connect it with a call to action to make it function great towards Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

3. Use gentle transitions for motion visuals

It's true that motion visuals are great elements to draw users' attention at once. Similarly they can kill the conversions too. How so? As we have discussed so far, greater and easier the visual is understood by the visitors, greater the possibilities for conversions will be. However, the process takes time. If you happen to use motion visuals with a great transition speed from one state to another, it could distract the visitors from realizing the message you try to deliver or either they may miss the most important parts. Therefore go at an easy pace of transitions for motion visuals.

Final thought

Visuals play an absolutely vital role towards Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Visual fluency is a must have quality that every visual in your website should adhere to. Visual fluency is about how well you can make your target audience understand the visual and its relationship to the message you try to convey. As per how our brains react towards visuals, the better the visual is understood for its purpose, the greater the user engagement will be. As visuals have a great power towards shaping up consumer behavior, they should be handled with great responsibility. In order to do so, adhere to the most important three key techniques we've briefed above!

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Example of hypothesis applied


The references contain experiments and studies that prove this bias is there.

1. Affective and Cognitive Consequences of Visual Fluency: When Seeing is Easy on the Mind.
2. Effect of visual fluency and cognitive fluency on the access rates of web pages

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