Get In Shape

8 Comments

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  1. Mark

    Take a look at the header on 9Rules for a study in well-considered balance. This unusual layout combines multiple design elements that look nothing alike, and places them together in a way that anchors each so that no one weighs down the header.

    On first viewing, in my opinion, your eyes are not drawn to anything in particular because of this balance. All items appear to carry equal weight, leaving the user scanning the page for something important.

    But as you say:

    Studying how shape can be used effectively in design is simply a starting point.

    It is important to remember that a design needs more than balance to be a great design, but understanding how areas interact is essential.

    A good article nonetheless.

  2. Matthew Smith

    Dave,
    Great treatise on the subject. Something to continue storing away for the next designs. Sometimes its difficult to nail why a design isn’t working. Whether its my own or someone else’s I appreciate a set of tools for analyzing and critiquing. Thanks!

    How important do you feel it is for a navigation system (main, sub, tertiary, etc) to utilize a consistent color scheme for unity and distinction from other elements?

  3. Dave S.

    “All items appear to carry equal weight, leaving the user scanning the page for something important.”

    On the contrary, I think that the logo draws the eye in, and the flanking items give them something to look at immediately after. Admittedly the ads below throw off the balance, but I think that’s more a result of colour and detail against a site that’s predominantly monotone. And let’s face it, ads often work against balance and visual weighting to begin with. Hard to roll with that.

    How important do you feel it is for a navigation system (main, sub, tertiary, etc) to utilize a consistent color scheme for unity and distinction from other elements?

    That would go a long way toward consistency, and could aid in differentiating the nav quite well if done right. Though these days you’d be hard-pressed to find sites that use nav in multiple spots throughout the page that apply a common treatment, so it’s not exactly a common convention.

    Although I suspect it’s probably more true that you’d require secondary and deeper-level nav to visually stand apart from global nav. Having a clear nav hierarchy isn’t a bad thing.

  4. Marla Erwin

    Adding a new item to a page impacts everything surrounding it.

    If there were one concept I could print on a 12-ft banner and hang during client reviews, this would be it.

    Great article, thanks!

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