Design is composition

Everything needs to work together and support each other


Determines the total impact of a design

Unity is relationships

  • Manage relationships so the work together



Triumph of design is Complex Seems Simple


  • Things that are close together and aligned are implicitly connected
  • The Grid is old. Simple grids used in scrolls way back when
  • old old old old old

Appeals to us and our sense of order.

Powerful way to organize a lot of information.

Zune app is a great example of grid layout

The grid is made to be broken.


Things that are more dominant on a page are more important

  • Size, color or shape

Dominance matters when you have density in information.

Sometimes Dominance is an entry point or sometimes it’s a way to show relative importance of different things

Don’t use too much dominance


3 levels of hierarchy works.  More than that really doesn’t

  • Important
  • unimportant
  • everything else



To make harmony use theme

  • “On the road” by Jack Kerouac – Read it
  • – Great use of theme


tendency to perceive things holistically and find meaning in the way the parts relate

Similiarity – implied realtionship between things that are the same

Contrast – things that are different are implicilty somehow different

  • Color
  • Shipe
  • size
  • position
  • orientation

Avoid the trap of “sameness”.

Increase contrast and you have the ability to say more things

  • increases your visual “vocab”



  • What’s on top and what’s the background


  • Use negative space to imply other shapes

Good Continuation



Negative space

Empty space

  • Empty space doesn’t have to be empty (WTF)

Same damn thing as figure/ground

Yes, space can be wasted

Empty space is not wasted space (sometimes)

Empty space is not there to be filled. It is there to be manipulated.


  • Feeling of quality
  • Legibility and readability
  • Reinforce order and structure.
  • Create interest.