Quick Tip: Page Hierarchy

Recently it has been my pleasure to stop in on a few schools and visit with id students. As I’ve looked over work (sketch pages in particular) I have noticed a need for better organization of thoughts and visual information. Obviously with id sketching you want to tell a visual story. The best way to tell a story is by organizing sketches in groups so that they are ranked by size, color, contrast, or position according to their importance. Here are some sketches I did as I demoed some of my workflow and technique.

layout1

Here is an overlay showing the visual journey I want the viewer to have according to what I have predetermined as “important.” Generally you want to use the rule of 3. This means you determine and create three areas on your layout of interest or importance. For this page I want the viewer to see the rendered sketch first, so I have given it size, contrast, and even some light color. The second read perhaps goes to an explanatory sketch showing how it is used. Finally perhaps smallest in size/importance are some initial exploration sketches.

layout2

When you layout sketches be sure to think of designing the layout as well. Send your viewer on a visual journey and push their eyes around the page to help them see your ideas!

  • http://shyam-ideas.weebly.com Shyam

    Thanks John for your sketch on hierarchy, I was waiting to see something like this.

    Thought this would be of an added information, many might already know abou it. I read this in a web design book and will apply to other design fields. Its the golden “rule of thirds”. You can find some information in http://digital-photography-school.com/rule-of-thirds

    In John’s sketch the main focus is placed on one of those third quadrant hence visually balanced.

  • http://shyam-ideas.weebly.com Shyam

    Thanks John for your sketch on hierarchy, I was waiting to see something like this.

    Thought this would be of an added information, many might already know abou it. I read this in a web design book and will apply to other design fields. Its the golden “rule of thirds”. You can find some information in http://digital-photography-school.com/rule-of-thirds

    In John’s sketch the main focus is placed on one of those third quadrant hence visually balanced.

  • Steve

    Cool stuff John, it’s getting cooler and cooler all the time! Really helpful to be reminded of this stuff. Congrats on the site:)

  • Steve

    Cool stuff John, it’s getting cooler and cooler all the time! Really helpful to be reminded of this stuff. Congrats on the site:)

  • Lamarr

    This is nice. Never thought to hierarchy a page this way before

  • Lamarr

    This is nice. Never thought to hierarchy a page this way before

  • Felix

    Personally I think it would work better this way round: http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/7264/nikehierachy.jpg

  • Felix

    Personally I think it would work better this way round: http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/7264/nikehierachy.jpg

  • Felix

    or actually, http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/7264/nikehierachy.jpg

    because keeping the people running the same way is good

  • Felix

    or actually, http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/7264/nikehierachy.jpg

    because keeping the people running the same way is good

  • http://shyam-ideas.weebly.com shyam

    Felix,
    I think John composition is like story telling. As most of the viewers tend to read a page from right to left. To me his page looks more balanced than yours.
    Maybe its like right handed /left handed subjectivity.

  • http://shyam-ideas.weebly.com shyam

    Felix,
    I think John composition is like story telling. As most of the viewers tend to read a page from right to left. To me his page looks more balanced than yours.
    Maybe its like right handed /left handed subjectivity.

  • http://shyam-ideas.weebly.com shyam

    Moreover the border in the left bottom corner and the main focal point to the left seems to be heavy.

  • http://shyam-ideas.weebly.com shyam

    Moreover the border in the left bottom corner and the main focal point to the left seems to be heavy.

  • John Muhlenkamp

    This is something you just have to feel out. There are really no written absolute laws for this. In general, if you sort of follow a hierarchy and some general rules of graphic layout you should be fine. More than that you ultimately are the person that decides what feels right. Thanks for the great link you posted to the digital photography stuff!

  • John Muhlenkamp

    This is something you just have to feel out. There are really no written absolute laws for this. In general, if you sort of follow a hierarchy and some general rules of graphic layout you should be fine. More than that you ultimately are the person that decides what feels right. Thanks for the great link you posted to the digital photography stuff!

  • http://www.idsketching.com Spencer Nugent

    C-O-N-T-R-O-V-E-R-S-Y!!! j/k I agree with John. Bottom line is, we’re here to suggest, but it’s up to you to decide for yourself what feels right or what works for you. Good input all around though! If you want to have it read left to right like a boring book, then that’s cool. I think the variety adds interest to the viewing experience. my 2¢

  • http://www.idsketching.com Spencer Nugent

    C-O-N-T-R-O-V-E-R-S-Y!!! j/k I agree with John. Bottom line is, we’re here to suggest, but it’s up to you to decide for yourself what feels right or what works for you. Good input all around though! If you want to have it read left to right like a boring book, then that’s cool. I think the variety adds interest to the viewing experience. my 2¢

  • jack

    vary useful tips for id sketching post.

  • jack

    vary useful tips for id sketching post.

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  • Eric

    Thank you thank you thank you! I have always had so much trouble with layout, and hierarchy, and how to set things up in general, and all of my stuff comes out chaotic. I’m currently working on my grad project and have been agonizing over my presentation boards. I would appreciate any other tips, examples, etc., that you or anyone else might have in regards to layout and presentation. Thanks again!

  • Eric

    Thank you thank you thank you! I have always had so much trouble with layout, and hierarchy, and how to set things up in general, and all of my stuff comes out chaotic. I’m currently working on my grad project and have been agonizing over my presentation boards. I would appreciate any other tips, examples, etc., that you or anyone else might have in regards to layout and presentation. Thanks again!

  • http://y-erai.blogspot.com MADHAN

    i know that eye flow but which one i should put i dont know after red this i got, thank you very much

  • http://y-erai.blogspot.com MADHAN

    i know that eye flow but which one i should put i dont know after red this i got, thank you very much

  • Nephtis

    Hey John,
    Just thought you might want to know, but I found this sketch being used by some other company. Might want to check out this website:
    http://www.embodydesign.nl/NL/magazine1w/index.html
    Cheers

  • Nephtis

    Hey John,
    Just thought you might want to know, but I found this sketch being used by some other company. Might want to check out this website:
    http://www.embodydesign.nl/NL/magazine1w/index.html
    Cheers

  • http://www.embodydesign.nl Olaf

    Hey Nephtis and ,

    Isue is resolved and was based on a mistake from our webguy. Used it for offline demo and testing. Forgot to replace it. He has been spoken to…
    Our apologies have been made to John.

    The upside is… that I’ve got the chance to look at this site! Did not know it and it’s very nice, keep it up.
    I hope you like our design, look under ‘OPRDACHTGEVERS’ > ‘ALLE PROJECTEN’

    Cheers,
    Olaf Jansen
    Owner / Designer

  • http://www.embodydesign.nl Olaf

    Hey Nephtis and ,

    Isue is resolved and was based on a mistake from our webguy. Used it for offline demo and testing. Forgot to replace it. He has been spoken to…
    Our apologies have been made to John.

    The upside is… that I’ve got the chance to look at this site! Did not know it and it’s very nice, keep it up.
    I hope you like our design, look under ‘OPRDACHTGEVERS’ > ‘ALLE PROJECTEN’

    Cheers,
    Olaf Jansen
    Owner / Designer

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  • inn

    Did you draw this all in one go or scan in several sketches then arrange and resize?

  • inn

    Did you draw this all in one go or scan in several sketches then arrange and resize?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this article!
    It really helped organize my current portfolio pages

  • http://www.facebook.com/bov.quintero Bov Quintero

    awesome sketches!

  • Sandres_87

    do you know alot of anatomy…??