Web Design and Immediacy Standard

A few days back I came across a book on print design. Initially I thought of it to be useless but a second thought made me realize that the contents of the book could be applicable to web design too. One of the chapters that I would like to share is about proximity principle and its relevance.
According to the dictionary proximity means nearness. The proximity principle is all about visually grouping the related items together so that the web design layout looks organized and the chances of confusion are nearly nullified.
Those items that are not directly related to each should be kept as far as possible. This is to focus on the least of relationship or association between the two.
Limited knowledge and utility of white space
The designers especially the novices need to understand the relevance of white space and how to use it for a successful website design. Most of the novice designers do not know how to handle the white space. Most of the designers think of filling up the available space with as much information as possible. When this trait prevails, the designer is usually unsuccessful at constructive management of the white space.
With the help of white space the designer can draw the attention of the visitor towards what he/she wants it to be drawn. One can create a long lasting impact through the contrast created.
Enhancing the visual appeal
The content along with the white (empty) space should be arranged properly. The header should look as if it heads the web page. The content and the spaces should be spaced properly. If one wants to optimize the consequences of proximity, appropriate management of the white space is the first step.
Grouping of Elements
Grouping of elements is a vital aspect of proximity principle. The related elements need to be grouped close while those that are not related can be far from each other. Suppose you have a visiting card with an address. Now if the four lines of the address are split in such a way that each line is placed on the corners of visiting card design, it does not mean that the proximity principle is followed. The proximity principle is said to have been followed when the four lines of address are place one below the other.
Comfort for the visitor
The visitor usually feels comfortable to read or go through the website only when the content is grouped logically and its arrangement facilitates the navigation of the visitor. The heading should be able to convey the central idea or the focus of the content on that specific webpage.
When the web site layout is designed on the basis of grid and appropriate size of gutter is used, there is a lot of white space between the sections. This not only makes it easy but compels the designer to use the principles of proximity without giving a serious thought to it.
Copyright A� 2011

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