While surfing through some portfolio sites, I encountered something interesting. It was a portfolio site created by Robbie Manson.

If you see the below image, you can see the dash line '-' between the navigation and the introduction of Robbie Manson.

Portfolio Site

This is not the only time I see this kind of design, where simple dash line or dot that looks meaningless occupies the space.

What is the effect of this kind of design?


I'd say it's lazy design, if not bad design.

The space may have seemed too "open" perhaps. So something, anything, is put to create a perception of equal columns.

Or the template being used has 3/4 columns and the designer was unable to remove that column without breaking the template.

Visually your sample offers no real reason why that dash is there other than to indicate a missing column. If the column was imperative, a better design solution, in my opinion, would be to have 3 columns of navigation, each column containing 2 links rather than 2 columns of 3 then a random em dash. Balance creates harmony.

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  • Agree with scott. It is probably the third column out of four. The cms might demand content, and so there is a dash (a non-breaking space would make more visual sense, if not for good backend solution). – benteh Nov 28 '13 at 0:32

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