Design Principle 1. Placement

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1. Placement: The underlying theme to placement is a consciousness to arrange individual or groups of components on a page to dictate a visual order of magnitude; not just to fill whitespace. If you have read other design books or articles, they always state that the most important screen real estate is at the top left and center of the page. I use the diagram below to explain a natural path that your eye will follow for any page that your view. Notice how the first two points on the page are the upper left and center, followed by the lower left and right, then up to the top right corner. Knowing this can help you in placing elements that are most important (navigation, top priority information, measures).


Regardless if you looking at print or digital media, your eye will follow this natural path in a split second before you even begin digesting what information is on the page. From there, it is other design practices like contrast that will pull your eyes in the direction the designer intended.

A commonality in dashboard design that I often see is a large logo at the upper left hand corner of the page. Try to fight the urge to do this.. Unless it is a marketing exercise and you want your company name front and center, which in many cases is still not the most important information you want to convey to your users. Your logo will fit best in the lower left corner of the page.

Next week we will talk about Proximity and how you can create visual connections by placing components on the screen to draw visual connections.

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