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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?

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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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