Developing a sense of design

Why do most designers obsess over fonts? Do colour schemes really matter? Is minimalism overrated? These are some of the questions that may come to the mind of a non-designer. To the untrained eye, designers seem to be passionate about all the inane things, mostly centred around trends, and over obsession over detail. Still, it cannot be denied that visual communication is a lot more impactful than the written word. Good design does inspire a reaction. Design matters, in that it changes how we feel, how we experience the world around us, and in how we perceive narratives.

Design books and essays often list anywhere between seven to fifteen principles of design. These are said to aid in the user’s experience and the usability or digestibility of objects or media. There are so many great resources about what constitutes these principles and good design in general, that it is hard to pick. But most mention balance, harmony, emphasis and white space. It is only when one sees something that doesn’t have any of these elements, that bad design becomes evident.

How these principles are extrapolated into other disciplines such as user experience design or web design is equally fascinating – like these tips about accessibility and this treasure chest of design resources.

Even if design is not your main area of interest, it is something that we encounter in daily life, and knowing some of its rules and best practices may go a long way in how we interpret all the things we experience, offline or online.

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