You see it with almost every digital campaign – an action directed to government in which you are asked to “email your MP”.
These are usually campaigns initiated by political lobby groups, where many people are asked to write to one or more pollies about an issue. The letters may range from those actually composed by the writer, through to form letters and signed postcards.
Form letters and postcards use pre-generated content that in many instances you can edit, but generally you don’t.
The reason for this is it’s much quicker and easier to enter your details, click send and then be done. You can feel like you’ve taken part and made a stand, but for less time and effort – it’s the lazy-man’s activism.
A great article about emphasis in web design by Jason Beaird from one of my favourite design blogs (www.designfestival.com).
Emphasis in Design
Closely related to the idea of unity is the concept of emphasis or dominance. Rather than focusing on the various elements of a design fitting together, emphasis is about making a particular feature draw the viewer’s attention. When you design a web page layout, often you’ll identify an item in the content, or the layout itself, that you want to stand out. Perhaps it’s a button for users to press, or an error message for them to read. One method of achieving such emphasis is by making that element into a focal point. A focal point is any element on a page that draws the viewer’s eye, rather than just being part of the page as a whole or blending in with its surroundings. As with unity, there are a few tried-and-true methods of achieving a focal point.
Although the constraints of practical web design do not often allow for it, the direct center of a composition is the point at which users look first, and is typically the strongest location for producing emphasis. The further from the center an element is, the less likely it will be noticed first. On the Web, the top-left corner of the page also tends to demand a lot of attention for those of us who read from left to right (remember that many languages, like Hebrew and Arabic, are read from right to left) and scan a page from top to bottom. Read more »
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