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13

As DA01 mentions, having a focal point doesn't necessarily mean the page will be unbalanced. It's good to have at least one focal point in the sense of accentuating the main message(s), for example a call to action. Now, elements can be distributed differently across a design and still be balanced (if you are using a grid, then you start with a certain ...


10

I asked a similar question on the usefulness of the Golden Ratio on the User Interface site. Unfortunately, there isn't any compelling and objective evidence that the Golden Ratio actually does what everyone says it does, despite the plethora of blog posts about it. That said, I don't think that using the Golden Ratio hurts a design. It's an eye-pleasing ...


10

To add a bit of science, here three things that are counter-intuitive but important to know about vision. They explain why viewers navigate visuals by drifting from a focal point, following any natural flow - and why it feels so much more jarring when there isn't a natural flow to follow. Your vision outside of the very centre of what you're focussing on ...


9

The question can have a quite wide answer that needs days and days of studying, but I'll give a try on something short. You have to design your layout following an invisible grid, like in paper so on the web that will help you on keep everything on the right alignment and tidyness. The difficulties are that on the web, sizes and proportions are changeable, ...


9

Simple answer: Curiosity. Some detail; It depends on the composition. @Yisela had some great examples of focal point (and balance) here, I'm going to use one to explain my thoughts on the eye movement. So example: Obviously you focus on the the people in the center immediately. But take a second to notice where you naturally looked next. For me, it ...


9

In design, this is often viewed as unnecessary ornamentation. Is it necessary? No? Then it's unnecessary. Additional elements should only be added with a purpose. To draw the viewers attention, to make them feel a certain way, to create a composition that makes the information more easily readable, etc. and should never be an end in itself.


8

I think the genius/expertise in that photo is perspective, not color. The viewer's eye is intentionally drawn right to her torso. The door, the mirror, the feet, the hair, her face, the building, and the billboard all use the middle of her torso as the focal point. Every aspect of that photo makes Ms. Winestead the focal point. The color use between the ...


7

You should probably consider establishing upper and lower limits and making the area of concern flash (possibly a red or yellow background with a black line flashing back to the normal waveform) if values go above or below those limits. For example: ETCO2 values above or below baseline (35-45mmHg) HR below 60 (considered bradycardic) or above 120 ...


7

Interesting and very big question. Research with eye-tracking shows that people "take in" a visual object differently. If you have a black-and-white image with one red dot, many people will have great problems afterwards to tell you what else but the red dot was there. However, placing another red dot somewhere will pull the gaze towards that too, and most ...


7

It's unfortunate that Khaled hasn't had a chance to respond here, but I'll give you my typographer response. As a general principle, I would strongly recommend sticking with the typographic conventions of each culture. Distorting letterforms (or choosing unusual typefaces that don't convey the same sense of formality as small caps do in English) is ...


6

The visual flow of an interface does matter, and here's why: Every interface screen should have a primary action or actions that are to be performed. The visual flow should naturally draw the eye to the primary action. The less distance the eye has to travel, the easier an interface is to comprehend and use. Studies (pdf) on form design bear this out as ...


6

I think the question is really one of your particular site and the client's need for the visual effect of a gradient. I think the current trend is (using HSV as a visual construct) to pick just one hue, and use saturation or value to shift it across the spectrum. In most cases, the scale of the gradient is also pretty large; small enough for you to see it ...


6

Headings (proportinal font) and code blocks (background, mono spaced font) are typographical the simplest and cleanest solution. It will work with small snippets and big (page overflowing) examples: Python print "Hello world!" JavaScript alert('Hello world!'); SQL SET SERVEROUTPUT ON; BEGIN DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Hello, world!'); END; Headings ...


6

First off: I can only speak for print and general cases, for I have zilch experience with video. Bear with me. I don't think there's hard and fast rules to determine the 'right' amount of fluff. Left-brainers will hate me, but I guess it's one of those things that just has to 'feel' right without being quantifiable. Moreover, there's other factors at work, ...


5

Using golden ratio it is a good practice, because it is a constant proportion, but at the same time it increase in exponential matter, becoming interesting respect to other proportions. You shouldn't feel compelled to use it, but it is a great guideline in defining a design project. If you talk about modern, on the internet, you cannot just apply the golden ...


5

You can think of web design the same way you think of poster design (in most cases). You have a short period of time to engage a user, deliver the message and hook them in to spending more time to find out the details of your site. That's the biggest difference between designing for the web any anything else. As far as composition, your canvas will need to ...


5

You could add a border or drop shadow (or both!):


4

From kindergarten to elementary school the majority of my (and other kids') drawings had a thing called "corner Sun" which was a quarter of the Sun filling the upper-left corner. At first this analogue might sound far–fetched or tongue–in–cheek, but I think the concept of corner Sun points to the source where the idea of ideal drop shadow comes from. Now, I ...


4

In your designs of your own devising, be consistent. If one object has a top-left light source, then all of your objects should have a top left light source. In designs of others's devising, you need to be consistent with their format. In the case of Apple's Mac OS X (per the HIG), drop shadows come from the top-center, and actually a bit on the front ...


4

When making a background gradient, I usually stick to one hue and adjust only the brightness and maybe the saturation a little (the amount depends on the hue but I keep it subtle). Also I often use radial gradients instead of the classical linear one.


4

There is no convention and no rule on this. The fact that it's common to have the type below the graphic is partly that it's currently fashionable and partly a design decision based on what the client or the design feels should have prominence. There is only one case where going with what's conventional is actually required in a design, and that's when you ...


4

The Logo is often on the top because it's better to remember, the first thing you see is the first to remember. If the logo is good enough to stand alone, its irrelevant where the name stands. This could be a benefit, if you can place the name everywhere you can change the place for every format. Beneath or above the Logo on the web and for letters it ...


4

There's always the grid: 3 across, 2 high, with 1/16-1/8" gap between each. Make all photos a uniform size. If you can take it to the edges of the sheet, bleed them at top and L/R (don't know what a bleed is? see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleed_%28printing%29 ). Look for large forms or shapes in the poses of the models and try and arrange the photos so ...


4

If you enjoy math, put it to use developing grid and proportion systems. Experiment with various geometries all you like (I hinted at that in this answer). In the end, it comes down to having or developing an eye for the end result but experimenting will help. Try classical systems like pentagons, golden triangles, golden rectangles, circles, etc. Grid ...


4

I'd like to add a Historical answer to this question. In the early days fluff was a solution for a problem. For example in architecture the plastering was invented in order to hide cracks in walls. This became an artform itself and when the technique was good enough and plastering was no longer necessary, plastering became fluff. Therefore fluff is the ...


4

Don't let the grid get you into problems. It's a tool, a means to an end, but it should never govern your work. If it's in the way, ignore it. More concretely: try and determine your outer margins, your leading and your vertical pacing (baseline grid is great for that last one). Then include those margins on each of the tri-fold's six pages separately. Mark ...


3

Here is a possible solution if you are open to using Photoshop. Assemble the "grid" of architecture photographs first, in any arrangement, and merge them into one layer. Either convert that layer to grayscale or turn down the saturation. Then, take the photo of the architect, paste it into a layer above the first one, and change the blending mode to ...


3

When you design about composition it is good to learn from the classic graphic design info that you can find about print (for example Typography, Grids, Kerning, White-Space, Golden Ratio). They will give you a correct linearity and order that you need in order to design "whatever". The difficulties in web design is that nothing it is displayed in the same ...


3

I think you're right. Subtle is good. Stick with two colors that are close together, and it can add a lot to the page.


3

If removing the rotation is not feasible (or allowed). I think I would try to get away with reducing the darkness of the shadow. A less intense shadow will do a great deal to "lighten" the footprint overall. Much less eye-catching in my opinion and less dominant in any layout. All i did was drop it to 10%.



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