I keep seeing "set the visual center," but all I can do is assume they mean set the style of a project, but I hate to assume. Any thoughts?

Edit: It was in a role description. Google turns up little-to-nothing. In context, it was to set the visual center for the team on mobile & table apps.

In one example, they mention "taking in UX research & goals to set the visual center for the project". I've done plenty of UX design & research, but I'm just unfamiliar with the term because I've only heard of it in publication and in images.

  • You keep seeing it where? What context are you referring to? What does Google tell you when you've searched for it? As it stands this isn't a suitable question for a User Experience Q&A site, it's lacking context and research. If you can expand it, explain the situation and what you're after then we may be able to help you out here.
    – JonW
    Jan 8, 2014 at 14:21
  • 8
    It sounds like a recruiter "pushing the envelope" with "blue sky thinking". Rather than say "provide creative direction" they're saying "set the visual center".
    – Matt Obee
    Jan 8, 2014 at 14:36
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    Sounds like a terrible case of buzzworditis.
    – DA01
    Jan 8, 2014 at 19:06

1 Answer 1


In design, the visual center is the perceived center of an artifact and not the actual center.

The visual center of any page is just slightly above and to the right of the actual (mathematical) center. This tends to be the natural placement of visual focus, and is also sometimes referred to as museum height.

Reference: The Principles of Design

Visual Center and Balance Placing important elements or the focal point of the design within the visual center of a piece is another design trick. The visual center is slightly to the right of and above the actual center of a page.

enter image description here

Reference: Rule of Thirds, Visual Center, Grids


To respond to your last edit where this line was added:

they mention "taking in UX research & goals to set the visual center for the project"

It looks like management know the phrase as a term they've heard on a conferance but didn't realize its true meaning. This isn't uncommon, and you could easily guess that visual center is almost the same as to focus on something. Without domain experience, and only listening to the term visual center it could very well be focus. Exchange visual center with focus, and it looks about right. "We need to set focus on this project".

However wrong, this may very well be how terms end up in corporate buzzword bingo if it's made popular enough. But to make it to the chart, the use of the term needs to be use much more and in different fields. This is also part of the process how language changes, and how the same term mean different things in different domains (management vs. UX).

enter image description here

  • 2
    While this is the correct definition of "visual center," I don't think it answers the OP's question. He quotes, "taking in UX research & goals to set the visual center for the project". This quote suggests an unorthodox use of the term with a different definition.
    – mawcsco
    Jan 8, 2014 at 17:40
  • @mawcsco I answered before the mentioned text was added to the question. I'll update my answer accordingly in a few hours. Stay tuned :) Jan 8, 2014 at 18:06
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    This is the correct definition which I think does answer the OP's question: Whoever was using the term has no idea what it actually means.
    – DA01
    Jan 8, 2014 at 19:07

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