Dec 2011

2 Important Principles that Define Design Unity

Posted By - PLAVEB

Website design is a coming together of various design elements in a manner that is not only perfect but also captivating. When it comes to the designing of a website, it’s the interaction of different elements of website design that determines their unity. If you want a unified layout, it must be something that works as a whole, rather than a layout that looks like having been designed in separate pieces. It must be remembered that the use of disparate elements only serves to discredit the website design as a whole as it doesn’t appear unified in more ways than one.

Today, designers work on the most advanced designing platforms and shape some brilliant designs, but the issue of unifying the various design elements still gives them pause for thought and they have to work hard at it. To ensure that the design of the entire website, including all its pages, works as a single unit, it is important to focus on two crucial principles.

Let’s take a look at them.


This principle is as obvious as they come, but it seems that because it is so obvious, that it is largely ignored by designers. Contiguity can be defined as a series of elements that are in close contact or proximity with one another and where one element is related to each other. The proximity of design elements on web pages is very important for ensuring that a particular web page looks like a single unit rather than something that is made up of disparate elements. Astute designers understand and seek to focus on the principle of contiguity and ensure that they set margins and padding for all design elements.

Let us try and illustrate this with a simple example. Say you have a column of text that has two paragraphs. Now, you want to put a heading for the second paragraph. What you must understand is that there is a thin line of difference between the words used, looking like a heading or a separator. It is the proximity of the text placed that determines how the reader perceives it. If the word is placed closer to the second paragraph it looks like a heading but if it isn’t, then it looks like a separator.


Good design is also about bringing a set of similar items together. This helps form a group. So, designers must take care to follow the principle of repetition. It’s of paramount importance that designers repeat certain design elements such as colors, shapes, textures etc., in a particular web page or across various web pages of the website. Repetition promotes cohesion and ensures that the design elements can be unified in a particular group. This ensures that website visitors see the various design elements used on a web page as a single entity and not as a series of isolated shapes.

As a website visitor, you might have been captivated by the imagery and the visual appeal of certain website pages and praised its uniqueness; but what you might not have noticed is that repetition of visual elements is a recurrent theme throughout the website. That fact of the matter is that if you want your website to be eye catching, due importance must be given to repetition.

Keeping these principles in mind, will be a big step in the right direction as far as the unity of the website design is concerned. This will ensure that the design is able to meet the requirements of the client and the user in more ways than one.

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