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The 5 Primary Principles of Potent Web Design – Part 5 : Balance

by new1 on November 8, 2012

There are 5 primary principles of effective web design. All five concepts are essential to excellence, thus it is rare to see them used individually. Rather each one must be woven through the others like the threads of a fine tapestry.

Because a basic understanding of these concepts is fundamental to the most successful web design, I do not wish to rush through this content. I am crafting this sequence with special care and spreading the lesson over five parts.

This is part 5: Balance

Balance provides stability and structure to any quality web design. Balance on a web page is defined as the weight distributed by the placement of the page’s various elements.

The three types of balance are: symmetrical, asymmetrical, and discordant (or off-balance).

Symmetrical balance is achieved when a website’s various elements are laid evenly throughout the design. If a web designer places a large, cumbersome element on the right side of the page, an equally heavy element must be placed upon the left. The easiest way to have a symmetrically balanced page is to use centering. However, one must be careful when doing this as most center designed pages can appear flat or boring. Symmetrically balanced designs are best crafted by using a balance of different elements, such as a block of heavy text on one side then balanced against an image of equal size upon the other.

Asymmetrical balanced pages are typically more difficult to design. Asymmetrical pages don’t have elements matched across the centerline. This means if you have a large element placed close to the centerline, you will need to balance it by having a smaller element placed farther away from the centerline. This is easier to picture if you imagine your web page as a seesaw. A lighter element can balance a heavier one by resting further from the center of gravity. In addition to text and image, you can use texture and color to add balance to an asymmetrical design.

Discordant or off-balanced designs are not as common and the most difficult type of web design to create. They can also be far more dynamic. This type of design suggests a degree of motion or activity not possible with other designs. Discordant designs make some website visitors uneasy. That, coupled with the higher degree of difficulty make them the rarest type of web design.

However, when executed well, a discordantly balanced design can stand bold against the competition

None of the 5 principles for potent web design is more important than another. All 5 must be flawlessly integrated to achieve the remarkable results that will get your clients clapping.

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