In this series of "Hidden Design Pattern" I am going to uncover the design patterns that influence human perception using the insights from Behavioral Science. This article is first of many to come.
Contrast Effect happens when two options with the same basic characteristics are shown besides each other, the difference between them is either magnified or diminished.
If you are interested, here is a more academic & technical definition on Wikipedia about Contrast Effect. My objective with creating content here on CoPatterns is to simplify the technical language so that you can easily apply these insights in your business. Back to the topic…
Although Contrast Effect was discovered as part of color theory, marketers intuitively understood it’s power and have been using it since the beginning of marketing.
One of the most powerful design pattern that takes advantage of Contrast Effect is the Left/Right Layout.
The Left/Right Layout design pattern is used to show a contrast between 2 ideas. One on left and one on right.
Ways To Use Left/Right Layout Design Pattern
- Comparison between you and a competitor product (Us v/s Them)
- A proof of transformation (Before v/s After) – Gyms & fitness coaches use this
- When there is a gap in your user’s understanding of expectation and reality (What You See v/s What It Really Is)
- When there are opposing ideas that differentiate your ideas, products or beliefs from others (Chaos v/s Order, Good v/s Bad, Better Tasting v/s Bad Tasting, Privacy v/s Public etc.)
Here are a few examples,
Create space for yourself in your audience’s mind
Using the Left/Right Layout Design Pattern helps you invoke this Contrast Effect. It creates a clear space in your consumer’s mind about where you stand as compared to the options available in the market. It also helps you magnify the difference between the two ideas in your customer’s perception which would otherwise slip their attention.
Questions to ask yourself when brainstorming your own Left/Right Ad Idea
- Do you have a better product or service than your competitor? What specific aspect of your product is better? Show the specific feature & it’s benefit while comparing.
- Does your product or service help your customer with some kind of transformation? What is that transformation? Show in terms of before and after.
- Is your way of looking at your customer’s problems fundamentally different from the way your competitors look at it? Talk about this difference in what you care about v/s what they care about?
- Do you serve a niche or a market that likes to look at itself as different from the mainstream? Highlight these differences between your niche community and the mainstream. Show the differences in values and beliefs.
We keep releasing new design patterns that influence human perception that are hidden in plain sight. Stay ahead of everyone and apply these patterns to grow your business.