A visual cue is a signal that our brain focuses on out of everything that crosses our visual path. Only about 1% of what we see is constructed by our eyes, with the rest being formed by our brains. Our brain is particularly susceptible to visual cueing because it is impossible to notice and pay full attention to every thing that passes in front of our eyes and a visual cue gives some direction as to what to focus on. Everything we see (as well as hear and smell etc.) is just a small portion of the “sensory landscape” that surrounds us at all times.
There are many common visual cues that we have trained our brains to take notice of and are particularly susceptible to. Arrows are one such visual cue that are used for anything from lighting the way to an emergency exit to telling you in which order infographics are meant to be read or a form should be filled out. They are synonymous with movement and progress so are particularly effective to not only draw attention to something but also encourage people to continue on a certain path.
Visual cueing is an important tool for use in any type of marketing and can be particularly effective online. Especially in today’s online world, our senses are overloaded with visual information and so it is important to give our brains a hand when deciding which elements to focus in on. Making use of a visual cue such as an arrow will greatly increase the chances that your site visitor’s attention will be drawn towards a particular element and, what’s more, be more likely to follow through and engage with it (i. e. click on a CTA, fill out a form, etc.).