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Seconds count. Predict them.

3-5 seconds. That's about all the time you get for your design to be noticed or lost in the shuffle. What if you could predict what people are likely to see in those critical seconds? And use that knowledge to make your designs stand out?

VAS analyses your designs, using algorithms developed by 3M scientists, that simulate what people see during the first 3-5 seconds of viewing and can analyze almost any visual—print ads, web banners, store shelf planograms, billboards and more.VAS helps you increase client confidence, simplify approvals, and gain consensus on visual priorities.

VAS for instant analysis. And powerful knowledge.

VAS is easy to use in your existing creative process. Use it via web, mobile or Photoshop® to analyze your design and get a suite of easy-to-understand reports.

Areas of interest

After you upload an image into VAS, you can mark up areas of interest (AOIs) that correspond to your visual priorities for the piece. Scores in boxes indicate the percent likelihood of each area gaining attention in the first 3-5 seconds.

Areas of Interest Regions

Regions gives an analysis of the image without considering the areas that you marked as visual priorities. This gives you a more raw and basic analysis of the image, for compariscon. Icons in the boxes indicate the elements that drive attention.

Regions Heatmap

Heatmap gives you a quick read on the most attention- getting areas within your image, kind of like a weather map. Hot colors indicate attention grabbing power in the first 3-5 seconds. Red = high; orange/yellow = medium; blue = low; and areas with no color overlay = very low.


What order will your areas of interest be seen in? If you've ever had that debate with a client or colleague, Sequence helps you settle it. Sequential numbers show the likely order in which visual elements will gain attention in the first 3-5 seconds.

Sequence Visual Elements

Visual Elements gives you results for the 5 elements that drive visual attention: Edges, Intensity, Red/Green Contrast, Blue/Yellow Contrast and Faces. The table gives element scores for each Area of Interest. Use the scores to learn which elements are driving attention, and how to revise.

Visual Elements Reports and Images

All of the analyses are available instantly in the VAS interface, but VAS also collects them into a tidy report. Just tap the download button for a detailed PDF, and a folder of the analysis images, along with your original. It's at your fingertips to use, review and share with clients.

Reports and Images › Download Sample Report & Images
The science behind VAS.

From your original image, VAS scans for these 5 key elements:

VAS is the culmination of decades of vision science research. 3M first began working in vision science to improve reflective materials in work zones. The same research was applied to understanding what a consumer will notice in signage, retail displays and advertising, and VAS was born.
VAS uses a predictive algorithm, based on actual eye-tracking studies, to test for pre-attentive vision. This is the first 3-5 seconds of viewing— before we're aware of what we're looking at—and not affected by gender, age or culture. Post-attentive vision happens next, when your brain interprets what it's seeing. VAS helps ensure that your design is noticed in post-attentive vision as well. If it isn't noticed in the first place, how can it be processed?
The 5 elements, below, are what VAS scans for. They're the key factors that attract our attention in pre-attentive viewing. Once our attention is gained by them, our brain can interpret the scene—i.e., read the headline, recognize the logo, etc.

Science Behind VAS Arrow Element 1 Element 2 Element 3 Element 4 Element 5 Edges Intensity Red/green contrast Blue/yellow contrast Faces
Like a visual spell-check VAS is kind of like a visual spell check for designers. Spell check doesn't know the author's point, or examine the writer's style. It just identifies words that need a bit of attention. Similarly, VAS identifies the 5 raw elements that people are naturally drawn to when they first gaze at something, but before they're aware of what they're looking at. It can't give subjective opinions. Or kill your creativity.
Video tutorials Unlock the power of VAS with our videos tutorials. video tutorials
Vision science deep-dive Learn more about vision science in our series of videos. vision science
VAS validation study We've tested VAS extensively, and proven its accuracy. Learn more by reading the VAS validation study report. VAS Tutorials