Having A Think On Design

A lot of what was presented in Kidd’s “A Kid’s Guide to Graphic Design” were things I already knew.  Having a background in psychology and user interface design, I understand that everything we see in the world that isn’t made by nature is, on some level, designed.  Logos are designed to evoke a certain set of primal, yet desirable, emotional reactions.  Streets are designed to draw people to certain areas and easily guide them around as well as optimize traffic flow.  Even the laptop I’m using was designed and coloured the way it is to optimize the end user experience from the keyboard layout to the placement of the screen relative to the keyboard.

Drawing the eye is critical for more than just advertising.  As an example, in user interface design, it should be designed in such a way that draws the user to important areas and controls.  The main area of the program should be as uncluttered as is reasonable.  Necessary controls, like the main text entry area for a WordPress blog post, should be front and centre, and of appreciable size.  Word choice for menu items should convey the most information about their functions with the fewest words; ideally, just one word like “Links” or “Tools” or “Help.”  If your menu items are pictures, they should be things that are easily linked to their associated function, such as a floppy disk for saving, or a length of chain for adding a link, and so on.  Your interface should use colours that have a significant contrast with one another, and you should avoid neon colours (especially neon green, red, and yellow) so as to make the interface more visually appealing.

The fundamentals of design aren’t something about which most people think very often, but they are so ingrained into our society that they are easily understood once one takes the time to sit down and really think about said principles.

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