Google uses a variety of images to draw attention on their websiteAdvertisers are always trying to attract people’s attention. “50% off”, “huge sale”, “clearance”, etc. are all examples of this tactic. However, drawing attention to events on a webpage is a slightly easier job. After all, if you already have a user on your website, it shouldn’t take a whole lot to gain their attention. Here are some techniques you can try to perk the interest of your website customers.

Using a larger font size is a standard way to denote importance. “For example, during the US war in Iraq, CNN.com changed their banner headline” from a 20px size to a 48px. Although this is a historically successful technique, make sure you match the font size to the importance of the event. A twenty percent off sale isn’t usually going to get people excited and doesn’t justify a huge font size. What size is too big for different events? If you have a plan in mind to assign maximum font sizes, you won’t be caught off guard when trying to use this technique to your advantage. Don’t forget to keep your webpage’s default font size in mind. A 14pt font may look small on some pages, but larger on others depending on their default.

Changing the font style is another way to draw attention to your website’s message. Just be careful not to pick anything too obscure, or you may find your readers can’t see the message because it won’t load properly on their browser. Color is an additional way to draw your reader’s eye. Red, Yellow, and Orange are all excellent choices to stand out and make people pay attention. Stop signs are red for this reason. Making text bold or italic will make it jump out at the reader without you changing the size or color at all. Combining these methods ensure you will never run out of ways to announce events or promotions.

Using text isn’t the only way to make announcements however. For really big proclamations you can completely change your layout. Amazon previously has used this technique, thanking their loyal customers by placing a letter from their CEO on their home page. Or you could be like Google and use images to herald events like holidays. Images are very powerful tools that can fit a variety of needs. The biggest caution you should be aware of is using too many of these techniques too often. The idea behind attracting attention to your website is to be different and unusual. If you are constantly using bold text for instance, it won’t stand out any more.

Do you agree or disagree?  Perhaps, I missed something?  Either way, I would just love to hear what your thoughts are on this topic… just let me know your alive!