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  1. Layout and Grid-based DesignIS 403 – Fall 2013 12

  2. Today • FREEDOM • From HTML • From user-centereddesign basics • Next few weeks • Basics of visualdesign • Making sites that look good (and work well)

  3. Comments on A1 • Back after class (75% got an A or A-, the rest B or B-) • In general, good, but a few places to improve • How did tasks map to your comments? • Use images to help, not just eye candy • Pick sites that you have something to say about • Writing quality • Run on sentences, grammar, etc. • Too many words • Sentences that don’t say anything

  4. Writing tips • Don’t speak for users that you don’t know • “this will be confusing to most users” • Simple sentences • “the main home page displayed a highly contrasted scheme with light background and dark text that enabled easy reading” • “the home page had a high-contrast color scheme that was easy to read”

  5. Writing help • UMBC writing center • http://umbc.edu/lrc/writing_center.html • Get friends/family to proofread • More drafts • More drafts • More drafts • I will look at writing during office hours (or by appointment)

  6. Upcoming • Thursday 10/10: Intro to type • Tuesday 10/15: A4 demos in class • Thursday 10/17: Guest lecture • Shaun at youth STEM mentoring event • Tuesday 10/22: Guest lecture • Shaun at ASSETS ’13 conference

  7. Why layout matters • Lead the eye • Reading order • What goes together? • Things that go togethershould look that way • Things that don’t…shouldn’t • And maybe it will look nice too…

  8. The Non-Designer’s Design Book It’s really good You should buy it

  9. Robin Williams’s principles of design C A R P

  10. Robin Williams’s principles of design Contrast Alignment Repetition Proximity

  11. Contrast “If two items are not exactly the same, then make them different. Really different.”

  12. Contrast • “If two items are not exactly the same, then make them different. Really different.” • How can items differ? • Color (light vs. dark, bright vs. muted) • Size • Weight (heavy/bold or light) • Border effects etc.

  13. Repetition • “Repeat some aspect of the design throughout the entire piece.” • Why? • Create a consistent “design language” • Give readers something familiar to latch on to

  14. Proximity “Robin’s Principle of Proximity states that you group related items together, move them physically close to each other so the related items are seen as one cohesive group rather than a bunch of unrelated bits.”

  15. Alignment “Nothing should be placed on the page arbitrarily. Every item should have a visual connection with something else on the page.”

  16. Center alignment Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night: What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare sieze the fire?

  17. Center alignment Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night: What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare sieze the fire?

  18. Center alignment And what shoulder, & what art Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat What dread hand? & what dread feet? What the hammer? what the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? What dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

  19. Center alignment And what shoulder, & what art Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat What dread hand? & what dread feet? What the hammer? what the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? What dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

  20. White space Literally just empty space in the document Helps “chunk” related items Space around the edges help with reading too

  21. White space Literally just empty space in the document Helps “chunk” related items Space around the edges help with reading too

  22. Is this all subjective? • Yes, but there are useful principles and guidelines for design • For this class: be able to justify your design decisions based on readings or principles • Breaking design rules can be good • Especially to attract attention

  23. Breaking the rules

  24. Thumbnail sketching • Sketch to get the major points of the piece • But not get bogged down by details

  25. Let’s try it Take this boring business card and spice it up with contrast, alignment, repetition, proximity 4 minutes (design one side only)

  26. Your Name Here IS 403 student Skills: UI design, HTML and CSS, user-centered design, prototyping youremail@umbc.edu http://umbc.edu/~yourusername

  27. Your Name Here IS 403 student Skills: UI design, HTML and CSS, user-centered design, prototyping youremail@umbc.edu http://umbc.edu/~yourusername Your Name Here IS 403 student Skills: UI design, HTML and CSS, user-centered design, prototyping youremail@umbc.edu http://umbc.edu/~yourusername

  28. Next: The typographic grid

  29. The problem Why do we need grids?

  30. The problem Complex documents can be too cluttered, difficult to search Providing a grid structure improves visual search Grids help even if the user doesn’t notice them

  31. How to do it • Lay out a page on a 2D-grid • Identify an underlying grid structure (rows, columns) • Grid cell sizes are multiples of some “base” size • Fill grid cells with content • Grid columns may not be same size • Elements may fill more than one row/column

  32. 1x 2x 4x 4x

  33. Grid ≠ boring