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42

Edward Tufte is the one that coined the term chart junk to refer to extraneous visual elements that tend to clutter, rather than clarify the data being presented. This can refer to all sorts of things that you tend to see often, but don't really enhance the understanding and--often--actively interfere with the understanding of the data. These can include: ...


35

Other answers focus on how to improve the design, but since you asked why the design looks dated: Font too small. The very left looks less dated than the rest, why's that? On the left, the font size matches the vertical space available for the text, while in all other buttons the font is far too small. Let's also throw in the all upper case, Arial, and the ...


19

Considering this is a POS system, I'd say the functionality is there. The buttons are big, relatively easy to read, and they are organised in groups, which would facilitate me finding what I'm looking for. Having said that, I see good structuring decisions, but not many design decisions. This is what I would look into: Fonts: Everything in your app is ...


18

I have the feeling you are answering your question, maybe unconsciously. Try to see the reading order: Knowing the western reading order is from top to bottom, from left to right, the reader's eye will try to follow that path. There's an object that first calls the eye attention: the girl picture. With the tendency to start from top to bottom, our eye ...


15

At first glance, I can't quickly tell what is what (and I have experience with restaurant POS systems). To me, the items in grey at the right of the UI don't seem to belong together. The yellow items in the center of the screen seem to actually be 3 sections, but this isn't clear? From the examples I have shown below (and I'm not saying anything of their ...


13

I, personally, won't never rely on the lower left corner of an advertisement to convey anything. It's a dead zone, easily forgotten or overlooked by the viewer. I, perhaps mistakenly, get the feeling that there may be more imagery than what your samples show. If not, then it may be merely due to the usage in your samples. Trying to force the lower left ...


12

It's recommended to start new chapters on the recto page of a manuscript, as it establishes a predictable flow for the reader to follow. The resulting occasional blank pages are actually a part of establishing this rhythm, making the divisions between chapters even more distinct. This recommendation is listed in rule 1.48 requires login of the Chicago Manual ...


12

They are really closely related. Layout is defined as the arrangement of predetermined items on a page. Basically, you're given the pieces and they are arranged. Design is defined as the art or skill of combining text, images, and other items into a visually pleasing arrangement. So, really they can be almost interchangeable. The primary difference is ...


12

I think you may reconsider the issue of your question by focusing on the table purpose instead of any general guideline. For instance, if the readers need to compare the content of different rows, it may be easier to differentiate each row. You can also consider to implement contrasts between columns instead. There are several options to make rows or ...


12

In many legal documents, I've been required to place a text box on the page that reads "THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK", so the reader doesn't think there's something missing. In your case, where you don't want that to actually print but still want a designer to see it, you could do a couple things: 1) Put that text box on its own layer (maybe make the ...


11

Design aside, is it functional, and do the people operating it understand how to use it? There is an element of don't fix what is not broken if that is the case. Yes, it looks dated, but many till systems I have used are guilty of the same simple look. Rounded buttons and colours chosen with accessibility in mind could spruce it up, but my gut feeling is ...


9

I don't believe you or your coworker are right. The more important issue is readability. Spacing on its own can effectively do this, lines / shading can often help to use less space. Here we have a table with pretty normalized spacing and no lines. It's hard to follow because the numbers are primarily designed to be read left to right, not top to bottom. ...


9

I'm not a design professional either, but since I have to consider this kind of thing when building mobile apps.... Ditch the old-school win32 3d effect. It's literally out-of-touch in an era where everyone expects things to look touch-screen friendly. What you want to use is large flat regions for each action area (button) with either no spacing between ...


9

This is merely my opinion... take it all with a grain of salt. Realize that I know nothing about your company, it's audience, the target market, the nature of the trade show. What you sell, what you profit from, who your owners are.. etc.... all of this helps target a design. I have merely focused on visual elements in your given image. This is a visual ...


8

Some thoughts first. There is a chance the feeling of stealing could be because you try to explore a finished product too deeply and not the general idea, the initial feeling. 1) Do not look for detail As a first step, instead of seeing your idea as the image you posted, try just to see a blurred, non-detailed image: This is the same process as the one ...


7

Basically, what you're asking is: Is it possible to quickly learn this job you guys've been doing your entire working life? Short, but blunt: just knowlegde of a certain piece of software is not going to be enough to be able to lay-out and create a book. Yes, Adobe InDesign is can be learned rather quickly if you are a bit savvy with graphic software....


7

This has been asked several times and I will still say the same thing each time. The best place to develop websites is in the browser which is the environment it will live in. Photoshop and Illustrator have their merits but should, at best, be only used for mockup or wireframing to get a general idea. If this is for a client that will also use the same ...


7

I would... Extend the table the width of the ad (easy to do in this instance, just copy a section, paste, then transform it to stretch the width. Not a lot of clean up is needed).... crop closer to the elbow and rethink the type layout a great deal. Flip the photo - English is read left to right, so if you have an opportunity to push the eye back to the ...


6

I've not come across a standard term for these. They've been variously referred to as "splash," "screech" and "decal" in conversation with different designers over the years.


6

The Bootstrap Documentation doesn't seem to have a great example for this as far as I can tell. I set up an example to try to visualize what Bootstrap does with the columns (I added your guide lines for comparision). The gist of it is, the column div is full width (Box #4) but has left and right padding (15px) so the content of the column will be padded by ...


6

Typically, figures are directly referenced in the text or are visual implementation of what is being explained in the text. i.e. "See figure x". Figures are used to better explain through visuals or to increase retention of ideas/concepts being explained within text. They can be "general" figures, such as a "Tips" icon whenever a tip is in the text. ...


5

Callout is what I generally refer to them as. A call out doesn't necessarily have to be literal. It can "call out to the viewer" not merely "call existing content to the foreground". Clients can refer to them as "badges" or "seals" or "bursts". In terms of design, then can also be referred to as "bastards" or "bastard elements" at times. By nature they ...


5

If that is their feedback, 'the design is somewhat poor', then I'd like to turn that around and tell them that their feedback is 'somewhat poor' as well. And then I'd be mild. Seriously, this is a horrible way to critique your work, even if they are right. Ask them what they didn't like about it, make them phrase why they think it is poor. If they then ...


5

There's no "law" or "rule" which states a grid must be used or that everything must be perfectly aligned with other elements. Paul Rand would have exploded if forced to stick to boring grids and perfect alignments. But also, sometimes people are people and alignment errors can and do happen.


5

Claustrophobic text: I think your current issue is that this text is too similar to the text below. It's a tad bigger but otherwise same color, same weight. I would try to increase the differences so the eye doesn't get confused with those two levels. "Empty" space I would try to add some depth and create unity by reusing small elements in the ...


4

The term might be dependent on the use. If it was on a certificate, it would be termed a "seal" as a a gold foil stamp or notarized type circle to validate the document. Otherwise I've termed it a "sticker" or sometimes a "burst" (like a sun with ray edges).


4

To me it sounds like the master page objects are in a layer that is locked. There are couple ways to figure out layer it might be. If you only have a few locked layers: Toggle visibility of your layer(s) until you find the correct one. If you have multiple locked layers: Click the corner menu in Layers panel Layers panel > Unlock all layers Then ...


4

Spitballing here, because I don't know your limitations. You could introduce some icons (might even what to drop the color on the button, here too. You could also get rid of all the buttons and use a magnifying glass.). Or you could drop the color on the buttons, and add it upon hover or active (hover should only be an issue with touch devices, finger on ...


4

You could use a blend, then expand. This will give you stacked objects. In this case the blue is below the red in the stacking order. After expanding and ungrouping, you have individual stacked object. Applying a shadow gives the shaker-style tiling I think you're referring to. If you place the first object and last object in the correct locations, you ...


4

Yes, this is a problem. If you aren't pushing yourself to try new ideas and find interesting solutions, you aren't going to grow as a designer. Look up some of your favorite graphic designers, try to find 8-10 different pieces of their work. Spend some time identifying similarities between their pieces, and then spend time focusing on the differences. ...


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