Graphic Design Principles
In this presentation we see how simple principles of
Balance, Emphasis, Rhythm, and Unity
transfer from graphic print media to web design.
• Balance is an equal
distribution of weight.
• Understanding balance
involves the study of
weight, position, and
Shark bus doors, National Geographic Channel
• Emphasis is the idea
that some things are
more important than
• Must establish a focal
point and a visual
A Focal Point
• A Focal Point is the
part of a design that is
• Supporting focal points
are known as accents.
How to ... Focal Point
• Make it BRIGHTER • A DIFFERENT COLOUR •
BIGGEST • A Colour if everything else is B/W • Make
it Go a Different Direction, A Different Value, Give it
IN THE WEB 2.0 WORLD, MAKE
IT MOVE MAKE IT TALK.
How to ...
• Where do you look first??
• Where do you look second??
• Where do you look third??
• Rhythm is a pattern
created by repeating or
• Think music where
there is a sense of
movement from one
sound to another.
Do these principles of RHYTHM apply to
Unity Continuity, Grid, Alignment, Flow
New York Times Magazine (Hard Copy)
See how these principles of
(Continuity, Grid, Alignment, Flow) apply to
Gillian Crampton Smith
From: Designing Interactions
If I were to sum up interaction design in a sentence, I
would say that it’s about shaping our everyday life
through digital artifacts.
— Gillian Crampton Smith
Three Stages of Technology Use
1. The Enthusiast Stage. (Early Adopters)
Don’t care how easy or hard to use. Just want in.
2. The Professional Stage.
People who have a vested interest in it being hard to
use. The harder it is, the more valuable their skills.
3. The Consumer Stage.
The current stage in the use of computer technology.
Nonexperts who just want to pursue their everyday
lives. “If it’s hard to use they won’t buy it.
From Usability to Sociability
1. Interactive design systems must have implicit as well as
explicit meanings. The aesthetic qualities speak to people in a
different way by reading meaning into artifacts.
2. We design for usability, utility, satisfaction, communicative
qualities *and* we design for sociability.
3. The technologies we design should enhance a social web.
To this IT systems need to support the social aspect of work
Languages of Interaction Design
The Dimensions: 1-D, 2-D, 3-D, and 4-D
1. 1-D includes words, ie are the words in a menu the most
accurate encapsulations of the action they denote?
2. 2-D representational metaphors include graphics and icons
that are images symbolizing a larger idea.
3. 3- D are those of physical sculptural form.
4. 4-D. The fourth dimension is time. Animators have been
developing a language that expresses plot, emotion,
anticipation, and action
Probably the best statistical graphic ever drawn, this map
by Charles Joseph Minard portrays the losses suffered
by Napoleon's army in the Russian campaign of 1812.
Beginning at the Polish-Russian border, the thick band
shows the size of the army at each position. The path of
Napoleon's retreat from Moscow in the bitterly cold
winter is depicted by the dark lower band, which is tied
to temperature and time scales. — Edward Tufe
For well-mapped analytic design, make sure you show:
1. Comparisons, Contrast, Differences.
2. Causality and systematic structure.
3. Multivariate data, that is more than 1 or 2 variables.
4. Integration of words, numbers, images, diagrams.
5. Documentation of data sources, authors, sponsors, etc.
6. Quality and integrity of content.