Most people equate design to art. This might be true for the most part, but a design should also evoke action, not just visual appeal. This also applies to page design. The way you design your page layout has a direct impact on how it is perceived.
Up to 94% of first impressions on any web page are design-related. This clearly shows the importance of creating a visually appealing page layout design. But it shouldn't end there. After all, the main purpose of any web page is to relay important information, right?
So, this brings us to the question, how do you balance visual appeal with effective communication? The most straightforward answer here is by following design principles. Read on as we expound on five of the most crucial page design principles that are sure to revolutionize your page design.
Today, people are no longer restricted to using computers to access the internet. We have smartphones, tablets, and even smart TVs. All these devices have different display styles. So, how do you deliver content in a way that is not only visually appealing but also easy to navigate and digest information?
These basic page layout design principles can put an end to this conundrum.
Never place anything on a page arbitrarily. All elements in a page should have a visual connection to each other. When you align the elements in your page, you create a stronger, more visually cohesive unit. This ultimately helps you organize and unify the page in a more appealing and elaborate manner.
Proportion is simply how different elements in a design relate to each other in terms of size. You can use proportion to emphasize important information by making the elements bigger than the rest. Likewise, you can downplay less important information by displaying it in smaller elements.
Balance deals with the distribution of weight in a graphic design. It can be measured by the size of an element, its color, density, and thickness of its lines. The principle of Balance exists in two forms: symmetrical and asymmetrical.
In a symmetrical design, elements of equal weight are placed on either side of an imaginary axis. Symmetry can exist vertically, horizontally, diagonally, or in any combination of the above.
Asymmetrical design, on the other hand, does not deal with an axis but rather the placement of elements (with similar weights) on either side of a page. Regardless of the type of symmetry you choose to go with, you should always ensure that your page is properly balanced. Unless, of course, you're trying to evoke a feeling of uneasiness in viewers.
The principle of hierarchy directly translates to how people process the information on a page. Simply put, the most important elements should be designed in a way that demonstrates their importance.
The best way to demonstrate hierarchy is through titles and headings. It goes without saying that you should give the title the most importance. You should design the title in a way that it is immediately recognizable as the most important element on the page.
Likewise, headings and subheadings should be placed in a way that shows their relevance, both to each other and the title. In order to give your page a proper hierarchy, the title should be the most prominent, followed by the headings and subheadings.
If you want to reinforce an idea, then repetition is the best way to go. It also doubles as a great way of unifying designs that incorporate different elements. You can use the principle of repetition by repeating the same shapes, colors, typefaces, or other elements in your design.
For example, suppose you're designing a page with an informative article with various headings. In that case, you should use the same formatting for all headings to signal the viewers that all the information on the page is related and equally relevant.
While "designers’ intuition" does work to some extent in creating good designs, it never hurts to err on the safe side by implementing design principles. The design principles above, coupled with effective design software like CorelDRAW, would help you turn that not-so-good page into a masterpiece!
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