I am not a designer, I am a physicist. Back in 2005, I made a guide for students about how to measure cosmic rays, for a lab class I was teaching. Now I am redesigning it and would like to ask for the opinion of design experts.
I want to keep it simple but eye catching, since physics documents tend to be boring and unattractive. My end users are undergraduate students. I am doing it with LaTeX. This is what I have so far (to zoom, you can right-click and choose "View image"):
The titles of the contentssection, lists of tables/figures, references, etc. I decided to use a different style on those titles to differentiate them from the body of the document. Also, the numbering is in Roman numerals for those sections.
The chapter titles: Does the yellow hurt your eyes? I tried other colours like blue or gray but they felt overused. I wanted something warmer and fresher, and very bold.
Next you can see several types of content inside the guides.
the ordered and unordered lists: Are the numbers and asterisks too cheesy? Are the greys not readable enough?
the internal (red) and external (blue) links, is it a good idea to have them in different colours?
the style of the page numbers: The titles of chapters and sections are in grey and sans font, are they readable? would you make it in a different way? Should I play more with the yellow in this sections? is the grey too dull?
the grey blocks: they are used to call attention. I don't know if I am abusing of gray in the whole layout.
The style for snippets of code: again gray. Is it to much? how do you find the combination of colours in the code syntax? Are the line numbers to the left too much information? do they make it look crowded?
The style for tables and figures: Should I make tables pop up more? I wanted to keep it simple but I don't know if I should add more colours, do they look dull? I have read that you should avoid vertical lines in technical tables, so I am only adding horizontal lines. Also, I decided to keep the captions with a sans font, while the body is in serif, is it a good idea?
Would love to hear some feedback. cheers!