Visual Segmentation

On most web pages, there are multiple different pieces of information, options for navigation, and even simply visual design elements competing for a site visitor’s attention. Without a design structure to differentiate these various elements and help guide viewer attention, this abundance of information can often be distracting or even overwhelming. Therefore, visual segmentation is often a key strategy to helping organize a site visitor’s experience.

The website achieves this goal in one of the simplest possible ways, largely differentiating various aspects of the site through separate color schemes. Thus, the main written content is black text on a large white background, the navigation toolbar is a white and grey line at the top, the sidebar is white text on red navigation buttons, and blue borders separate each discrete piece of the site. This is a simple but highly effective strategy that helps to easily organize large amounts of information.

The Department of Justice’s website,, opts for a different approach. Because the site follows a color scheme of black, white, and gold, itself a pleasant aesthetic choice, visual segmentation through color alone isn’t a viable option. Instead, the site more aggressively separates each of its component parts into discrete entities, emphasizing the use of white space to help visitors to mentally distinguish the various elements of the site. It isn’t quite as effective as the simpler color segmentation process, but it’s pulled off well enough to still keep visitors from being overwhelmed.

2 Responses to “Visual Segmentation”

  1. Tiffany J. says:

    What’s so interesting to me about this is how something which appears so intuitive actually requires so much thought. You can’t just randomly access your memory; you have to really think.

  2. Jeff says:

    How does my friend’s website stack up in terms of effectively using visual segmentation? You can find it at

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