9 necessary recommendations on web and app design — Part 2

After publishing the first part, today we will present you another article about 3 other tips and best practices when it comes to web and app design. This second articles will include:

– How to use negative space in your work?

– How minimalism is practiced these days?

– How will consistency affect the design?

4. Using negative space in your design

a. What is negative space?

In recent years, designers, especially those who work in UX/UI field are using negative space more than ever for various reasons. But where did it come from at first?

Basically, negative space is often referred to as white space. This is a term used in various print design tasks such as book, magazine, and newspaper design. The space around elements in print design is often white, so designers use this color to call untouched and blank parts in pages of books, magazines or any other print works.

However, negative space was originally used in photography where photographers see it as the area surrounding the main subject. And well, it doesn’t have to be white.

In web and app design, this element is the space found inside and surrounding other elements like typography, buttons, texts, lines, etc. It can be in logos, illustrations, posters, etc.

Some other subterms regarding negative space are:

– Micro: it is the small space between elements like lines, paragraphs, grid images.

– Macro: this kind of negative space is placed between majored layout elements.

Micro and macro negative space in UI design.

– Active: used to clarify the structure of your web page and also help to guide users through the page’s content.

– Passive: used to improve the aesthetics of the layout.

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An example of active and passive negative space. Image: Interactive Design.

b. Benefits of negative space

As in website and app, negative space will enhance your web and app design one way or another. Below are some of its benefits when designers adopt this element in their works:

– Keeping the balance between elements like words and pictures.

– Creating contrast by proximity/distance between objects.

– Clarifying the relationship between layout and component.

– Buffering the bond between elements in a layout.

– Making the design less clumsy by strengthening visual hierarchy.

Benefits of negative space. Image: Passion Digital.

These factors mostly help users perceive information better thanks to the fact that negative space will eliminate all the distractions. Furthermore, this tool also adds style and elegance to the website.

c. How to use it in a web and app design

Generally, negative space is the most needed aspect of graphic design. However, when designers practice it well, clients and users can hardly recognize this bit, or else, negative space could jump off the screen and scare your visitors stiff. So next is some recommendations on how to executive this element in a design:

Using negative space on a website. Image: Designer Daily.

– Understand the differences between macro and micro white space as well as active and passive white space. Pay close attention to them because the devil is in the detail, you know.

– Keep other objects interesting, natural to power up the effect of negative space.

– Be consistent in your negative space draft.

There are several factors that likely affect negative spaces in a design: legibility; design tone and branding; focus and attention.

5. Simple is best

a. What is minimalism?

Chances are that you have visited these types of websites many times like these:

Image: Vandelay Design.
Image: Web3Canvas.
Image: Best Website Design.

This happens due to the fact that minimalism (or the art of less, according to Steelkin) is one of the most popular design approaches at the moment. In short, to design a minimalist website, designers will eliminate unnecessary elements or contents that are not helpful.

Many experts guessed that this trend comes from the International Style, the style of design which was a trend back in the forties and fifties of the 20th century.

As for the digital age, ever since adopted by Microsoft (in Windows 8) and Apple, minimalism has become the biggest trend in the web and app design industry.

b. Why you should use this technique?

The reasons are various, it may be because:

– Minimalism is the biggest trend right now, and it will only get trendier.

– Websites used this kind of technique are easier to make responsive.

– Your website will load faster due to the fact that there are fewer elements on the page.

– Your visitors will be able to focus on important things like messages, products, services, etc.

c. The Characteristics of Minimalism

Nielsen Norman Group has conducted a piece of research on the movement of minimalism in 122 minimalist websites, and below are all the most used minimalistic techniques.

– Flat patterns, texture (96%). This is the technique that doesn’t use any effect such as highlights, shadows, gradients, etc. to make the website glossy or 3-dimensional. However, the flat style of web and app design could reduce the legibility of your web and affect your customers’ behavior.

A web using flat patterns, texture style of design. Image: Wanderlust Web Design WordPress Studio.

– Limited or monochromatic color palette (87%). Different from the colorful style of the 2000s, today’s websites are mostly made of less than 5 colors. In their research, Nielsen Norman found that half of the samples (49%) used a monochromatic color palette, most of them adopted white, black, and gray in their interface. Nevertheless, you should make sure that the color scheme is contrasting enough to enhance the content’s legibility.

A web using a limited or monochromatic color palette. Image: Smashing Magazine.

– Restricted features or elements (87%). If you want to get rid of redundant elements in your design to make it a minimalist one, a good plan is needed here. That’s why you should draft a detailed sitemap so that the website won’t miss anything important and eliminate unnecessary bits.

– Maximized negative space (84%).

– Dramatic use of typography (75%). Using one special typeface is like implementing a bold color in the minimalist design, this tool is to increase the impact of a website’s visual without using too many elements.

Dramatic use of typography. Image: Speckyboy.

6. Be consistent

In the design world, it is essential to be creative all the time. However, creativeness should go with consistency to make your work friendly and usable.

a. There are 2 most important types of consistency you should consider when working on a web and app design

– Visual consistency: is how your visual elements such as font, size, icon, buttons matching with each other.

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Visual consistency. Image: UX Booth.

– Functional consistency: in an app or a website, when functions are predictable that’s when you have functional consistency in your design. Thanks to this characteristic, your user will feel safe and secure. And who does not need it?

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Functional consistency. Image: Maddison Designs.

b. The benefit of being consistent

Even the most creative designer needs consistency in their work so that it could be a successful product. Below are some reasons that make consistency so important to web and app design:

– It contributes to the usability and engagement of your website or application.

– Consistency eliminates contraction.

– This factor will also strengthen the image of your brand in the users’ minds.

c. Some ways to make your web and app design consistent

When working on a digital product, it is easy to

– Use a familiar set of elements in your webs or apps such as typography, colors, space, grid, size, and positions, or you can just reuse them in a website.

– Your pages may be different in terms of content and visual but the layout should be related so that the users can recognize your product immediately.

– Do not get rid of the grid in your design. Everything should be perfectly aligned with each other.

If you miss the first part of this article, just click here to read it.

And we at Designveloper hope that our recommendation will benefit you one way or another. In case you guys have any other tips on web/app designing, leave a comment here. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Written by

Designveloper is leading software development company in Vietnam. We offer Web development, mobile application, UI/UX Design, VOIP. www.designveloper.com

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