When a design wins my heart, it's usually because it has done well in the following principles:

1. Consistent spacing

The spacing in a design is like backup orchestra for a concert. No matter how beautifully the main element is designed, if there's no adequate breathing space and consistent spacing surrounding the whole piece, the design would seem haphazard and unprofessional. It's as if the backup orchestra is going off on its own tune during a performance. Imagine how confusing (and perhaps amusing) that would be!

2. Legible typography

The study of typography and its history, pairing, and emotional impact is deep. But one of the most important aspects of typography, in my opinion, is that it needs to be legible on the communication device that it is used on. A headline or a paragraph can look romantic, modern, or futuristic. But if it's not legible, it loses most of its power because the meaning is not communicated across.

3. Visual Focus

In a design, there should be one element that grabs my attention within the first glance. It can be typography, illustration, a photo or a button. Without a clear visual focus, the design is confusing and quickly loses my interest. The human brain tends to seek out patterns and meaning. When they are not readily obvious (like life!) it can be very frustrating!

4. Emotional Impact

I love it when I can feel a clear sense of emotion from a design. Perhaps it's a sense of luxury, light-heartedness, sadness, or even terror. Emotion influences brand perception, and plays a huge role in information processing and decision-making. I feel that the emotional impact should be considered an important heuristic of whether a design is successful.

5. Clear call to action

As a form of communication, there are usually actions associated with the information that is conveyed via a design. Knowing the available actions is the first step for interaction. It also helps direct users and provides a sense of certainty.

There are many other ways to win my heart in design, but the above five are the ones that I find the most important. Do they overlap with yours? What are some ways that a design can grab your heart?

About the Design Writing Challenge

Let's face it, I suck at writing!

It takes me a long time to write anything, and it's hard for me to get my meaning across a lot of times! It's especially hard for me to write design case studies, it simply kills me!

I feel like I either sound like a teenager rambling, or some boring industry professional - still rambling. I'd really like to write with ease, clarity and personality.

The only way to get better at writing is to write

I believe the only way to get better at design is to design, therefore it must be true for writing as well. I downloaded an image of 30 writing prompts from the internet and adapted all of the prompts for design.

I look forward to sharing all these design writings with you in the next 30 days!