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use of only two font typefaces on the page also demonstrate repetitions and helps to
create a cohesive look. Arial is the default font. Page headings are configured with
Verdana font. The large rectangular visual element in the middle of the page engages
the visitor and incorporates repetition of three thumbnail images. The services area also
utilizes several thumbnail images. Whether it is color, shape, font, or image, repetition
of elements helps to unify a design.
Contrast: Add Visual Excitement and Draw Attention
To apply the principle of contrast, the designer should make elements very different
(add contrast) in order to make the design interesting and direct attention. When
designing Web pages, there should be good contrast between the background color and
the text. Notice how the navigation area in Figure 5.20 uses text color with good con-
trast (either light text with the blue and medium gray background or dark text with the
light gray background). The main content areas use dark text on a medium or light
background to provide good visual contrast and easy reading.
Proximity: Group-Related Items
When designers apply the principle of proximity, related items are placed physically
close together. Unrelated items should have space separating them. The placing of inter-
face items close together gives visual clues to the logical organization of the information
or functionality. In Figure 5.20, the vertical navigation links are all placed in close prox-
imity to each other. This creates a visual group on the page and makes the navigation
easier to use. Notice the proximity of the options in the governor's section, services
options, and right-sidebar links. Proximity is used well on this page to group related
Alignment: Align Elements to Create Visual Unity
Another principle that helps to create a cohesive Web page is alignment. When applying
this principle, the designer organizes the page so that each element placed has some
alignment (vertical or horizontal) with another element on the page. The page shown in
Figure 5.20 also applies this principle. Notice how the page components are vertically
aligned in columns. Examine the services area (Driver Online Services, Renew Health
License, Annual Report Filing) and observe the alignment of the thumbnail images,
headings, and text.
Repetition, contrast, proximity, and alignment are four principles that can greatly
improve your Web page designs. If you apply these principles effectively, your Web pages
will look more professional and you will communicate your message more clearly. Keep
these visual design principles in mind as you explore recommended Web site design prac-
tices related to page layout , text, graphic, and accessibility in the next section.
5.4 Web Page Design—Best Practices
The major components of Web page design are as follows:
Page layout design
Text design
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