Contrast Effect

We better remember products that stand out from their surroundings

A clever use of contrast to surprise, delight and assist consumers will boost conversion and strengthen long-term recall of your brand.

Hunt (1995). The subtlety of distinctiveness: What von Restorff really did. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

The study

Setup

40 people were split into two groups and shown a list made up of either 10 unrelated items (a number, a syllable, a colour, a word etc.), or 9 numbers and one isolated syllable placed second in the list. After a 10-minute reading task, both groups were then asked to recall the list. 

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Results

Those in the isolation group successfully recalled the syllable 70% of the time, as opposed to 40% in the control.

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Key Takeaways

Use complementary contrast. When showing a list of similar products (e.g. beer), weave in a contrasting product to create complementary cross-selling (e.g. nuts) or up-selling (premium beer) opportunities. 

Use contrast for clarity. If you offer a range of products, draw the undecided consumer to a strategic option, preventing choice overload and assisting sales. How might customers become overwhelmed with your range? How can you create a clear sense of contrast that avoids this negative feeling?

Contrast through context. If your brand is familiar, how can you place it in relevant yet unexpected contexts to heighten recall? For instance, British food delivery service Deliveroo could have a movie tie-in shot in London, where its turquoise drivers whiz by in the background 2-3 times over the course of the narrative. 

Contrast Effect

We better remember products that stand out from their surroundings

A clever use of contrast to surprise, delight and assist consumers will boost conversion and strengthen long-term recall of your brand.

Hunt (1995). The subtlety of distinctiveness: What von Restorff really did. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

The study

Setup

40 people were split into two groups and shown a list made up of either 10 unrelated items (a number, a syllable, a colour, a word etc.), or 9 numbers and one isolated syllable placed second in the list. After a 10-minute reading task, both groups were then asked to recall the list. 

Results

Those in the isolation group successfully recalled the syllable 70% of the time, as opposed to 40% in the control.

Key Takeaways

Use complementary contrast. When showing a list of similar products (e.g. beer), weave in a contrasting product to create complementary cross-selling (e.g. nuts) or up-selling (premium beer) opportunities. 

Use contrast for clarity. If you offer a range of products, draw the undecided consumer to a strategic option, preventing choice overload and assisting sales. How might customers become overwhelmed with your range? How can you create a clear sense of contrast that avoids this negative feeling?

Contrast through context. If your brand is familiar, how can you place it in relevant yet unexpected contexts to heighten recall? For instance, British food delivery service Deliveroo could have a movie tie-in shot in London, where its turquoise drivers whiz by in the background 2-3 times over the course of the narrative. 

Contrast Effect

We better remember products that stand out from their surroundings

A clever use of contrast to surprise, delight and assist consumers will boost conversion and strengthen long-term recall of your brand.

The study

Setup

40 people were split into two groups and shown a list made up of either 10 unrelated items (a number, a syllable, a colour, a word etc.), or 9 numbers and one isolated syllable placed second in the list. After a 10-minute reading task, both groups were then asked to recall the list. 

Results

Those in the isolation group successfully recalled the syllable 70% of the time, as opposed to 40% in the control.

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Pairings

Conversion

Boost list recall through contrast

In a given list of features, options or ideas, we tend to better recall the first and last. Make the most of this by creating visual distinction.

Where can you start with a bang...and end on one too?

Product Development

Use distinction to foster uniqueness

There are many ways to convey scarcity. If you have a range of products that are all similar in visual characteristics, consider exploring how a limited edition can feel especially valuable through the use of contrast. A rare black item amongst an otherwise white collection.

Where can you use contrast both dramatically and sparingly to harness its unique power?

Connected to

Running workshops?

Contrast Effect

is included in Box One of our physical workshop tool.
is included in Box Two of our physical workshop tool.
Box Two