The principles of design describe the ways that artists use the elements of art in a work of art. Balance is the distribution of the visual weight of objects, colors, texture, and space.
It’s not secret that principles of design are used EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE! And when I mean anywhere, I mean we can find these principles used in the most unconventional places. For instance, take a look at a random pair of lamps. Any type of lamp. Don’t you think some form of principle was used to design the lamps itself? or use them to choose their location placement?
Whether you know them by their proper term or via word of mouth, artists utilize these designs since the beginning of time to reach people in order to enhance learning, perceive broader, amplify experience, and decide effectively.
Just take a look at the Principle of Design- Wabi Sabi. Wabi Sabi “in traditional Japanese aesthetic” is a “world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection” (Wikipedia). This principle has been around for thousands of years. So, what makes you think some of these Principles of Design haven’t been around since the beginning of times?
Well, Sofia De Leon (this website) hasn’t been around for thousands of years (or even for a decade). But it sure incorporates these highly effective principles to create a overall better perception, usability, learning experience, decision-making, and create appeal!
Now in the 5 sectors below, I will assess how effectively I, Sofia, have utilized the principles and applied them to this website. Enjoy!
Q1: How can I influence how design is PERCEIVED?
Consistency- The usability of a system is improved when similar parts are expressed in similar ways.
I am not proud of it, but I rely heavily on The Principle of Design – Consistency. Way too much. I am the type of person that likes a uniform look my designs. Which is why I like to be consistent on my blog posts format (journalistic style).
For instance, if you take a look at the image above it is the home page of my website. It is the page you first see as you enter. Although the post are from different topics, they all exemplify the same posting format. They all have a title, feature image, and a small preview of the blog post content. Also, they are all stacked up symmetrically despite their different height. So regardless of new posts, the format will stay consistent.
For future employees this conveys trust that I will be consistent on my work. As I mentioned previously, this website is a personal yet professional blog. So, by utilizing consistency not only am I able to organize my content better, I am also able to exemplify my ability to understand design through consistency.
Q2: How can I help people LEARN from design?
Performance Load- The greater the effort to accomplish a task, the less likely the task will be accomplished successfully.
This principle I mainly utilized it for the sake of my professors. This website was originally created for a class. Since, it has evolved into some sort of portfolio. But my main audience as of today (99% of it to be more precise) is professors. Sorry Dr. Welsh, I utilize Performance Load mainly to facilitate…older professors… find the required assignment. Assignments such as this blog post! 🙂
But don’t get me wrong, I love using Performance Load. I love it so much, that it’s literally my home page! By displaying the latest blog posts excerpts in the front page, I am able to levitate the performance required to search through my blog. This will be extremely helpful when possible employees search me up via resume. NO one wants to use more energy than they need to!
I utilized Performance Load to facilitate my readers (ugh professors) learning experience via blog posts. By doing so, I am able to create a clean and easy navigation experience. This set up, this usage of performance load, this design will help my readers learn about my work better. ❤
Q3: How can I enhance the USABILITY of a design?
Hierarchy- Hierarchical organization is the simplest structure for visualizing and understanding complexity.
The image above is the drop down horizontal menu of Sofia De Leon when used in a mobile device or any smaller screen. This function is located in the top of every page, or when accessed on mobile, it will be located in the top left of every page.
I utilized the Principle of Design-Hierarchy to create a visual organization of ALL my blogs into categories. Also, I took advantage of its horizontal position to organize my tabs from most important to least important (with an exemption of Contact as that is a MUST in every webpage).
For instance, the HOME page is placed in the front because it is the most important as it relocates initial readers to the main page. Then we have Photography, as it is something that I highly value and plant to continue this art in the future. So for future clients, my photography will be easy to be accessed. And. . . .so on!
By using Hierarchy as a way to create easy usability of my website, I am able to enhance my readers, and or future clients, initial experience. By doing so, future readers might be encouraged to continue reading about my boring photographic adventures!
p.s. this is also a great way to prioritize your blog by subject! 🙂
Q4: How can increase the APPEAL of a design?
Attractive Bias– A tendency to see attractive people as more intelligent, competent, moral, and sociable than unattractive people.
One of the principles most often used on my website, is the Attractive Bias. Attractive Bias, as defined above, is utilizing appeal to seem more intelligent, competent, moral and sociable. In this case, I used this appeal to enhance my credibility as someone competent manage a professional website and reinforce my brand. In other words, I used APPEAL to basically . . . FAKE IT UNTIL I MAKE IT . . . to the working world.
For instance, one specific example is utilizing color and eye drawing images. If you think about it, the websites where beautiful and clear images are displayed are perceived as more credible. On my blog posts, I use clear imagery and clear journalistic writing style to resemble such websites. Websites such as Love Maegan, in which I wrote a whole post on how she used some of these principles with competence. You can read all about it here.
I also used color ( or a color palette) to create appeal in y web design. If you take a look at my blog, I used a dark and elegant plum color palette. Not only did this create uniformity in the overall outlook of the blog, but it creates an attractive bias.
By doing so, I am using appeal to enhance my credibility as more . . . professional in this case. This is an example of how I used images and color to create an attractive bias in my website.
Q5: How can I make a better design DECISION?
Modularity- A method of managing system complexity that involves dividing large systems into multiple, smaller self-contained systems.
Similar to The Principle of Design-Hierarchy , Modularity as mentioned above is about making smaller systems from large complex ones. In my website, I took large complex ideas and divided into smaller categories. I used modularity in my menu to facilitate navigation for my readers. This not only creates a more uniform look, but it simplifies my blog. Now, think about it as a quick and concise summary located in the top of every page!
For instance, all photography related content is under the tab Photography. And if someone would like to access The Story Behind ‘A Year in Pictures-2017’ Part II, they would have to go to the Photography Tab, then hover over A Year in Pictures-2017, and finally click on the destination. Although it sounds tedious, once accessing the menu it will be clean, easy, and straightforward. Please. Believe me.
IF I would like future employees to take a look at my website to exemplify my work, providing a clear modularity will facilitate their decision making. That way they will pay more attention to the content rather than having to worry about “how to access the main menu.” In other word, creating a clear navigation menu will facilitate the decision making of my readers?
So . . . . . Why does it matter?
Why does it matter that Principles of Design are used in, well, this websites design? Why? WHY? WHY?!
I’ll (briefly) tell you why. The Principles of Design utilized in this website are essential to create a design that is functional and easy to use for other people, while still looking BOMB! When designing something you can’t just think of the necessities or preference of yours. You have to think of how other people perceive your design (that is if you are sharing it to other, because you know. Sharing is caring). We are all different and we all learn different.
So, yeah. Principle of Design can help enhance the experience of your design. It helps you in so many ways. Learning them through a text book might not sound appealing. But when you dig your nose out off your that textbook, you’ll soon realize how the world around us is full off wonderful design principles. 🙂