Visual Literacy

All of us have our own understanding of aesthetics. In Lithuania, we say that you never argue about a personal understanding of aesthetics. We all see the world in different colors, however, our brains have some similarities, the way they accept the information and all the visuals around us. It is a matter of seconds whether the reader will stay and continue reading your website or will skip to another one.

It is incredible, how successful can your website design be if it was built following some basic rules. The essential rules of design can be found in the Design Secrets Revealed e-book by Keri-Lee Beasley. Therefore, visitors/readers can be easily attracted by building a well looking visual design for a website, poster, blog page, article, brochure, etc. I personally love websites, where the essential information is displayed clearly and conveniently for my eyes. Who doesn’t? Most people are too busy to spend additional time looking for relevant information, moreover, there are loads of other online resources. Looking for an alternative online resource very often is more efficient.

Any creative and successful educator understands the role of aesthetics in education, starting from classroom preparation – themed decorations always make students feel cozy and convenient. Worksheets, posters, newsletters to parents, which most often are in form of a website – a really great tool for communication.

My very fresh experience has shown the value of aesthetics combined with technology. Our school has been releasing a weekly newsletter as a several page PDF file, attached to an email. This year we decided to make a transition to Google Sites. It was unbelievable, how happy our community was. Even a simple interactive design has increased the number of community members who began reading a newsletter just because of a more convenient and visually attractive format.

Visual Hierarchy

I found hierarchy as a visual design principle pretty interesting and important. According to the article I found at the Interaction Design Foundation website. Designers use visual design to emphasize each page/screen’s contents. They focus on the following characteristics:

Size – Users notice larger elements more easily.

Color – Bright colors typically attract more attention than muted ones.

Contrast – Dramatically contrasted colors are more eye-catching.

Alignment – Out-of-alignment elements stand out over aligned ones.

Repetition – Repeating styles can suggest content is related.

Proximity – Closely placed elements seem related.

Whitespace – More space around elements draws the eye towards them.

Texture and Style– Richer textures stand out over flat ones.

When I looked at my COETAIL blog page, I wasn’t really sure about the changes I would like to make. However, I decided to focus on the characteristics above and change my Blog page accordingly. This time I decided to change a layout and to play with colors. I’ve used the same blog image and added it as a background image. Also, I’ve repeated the colors from the background image in my header and titles on my blog posts by adding some integrity to my blog, however, I feel, that I will experiment using different colors in my further blog design stages. I would like to use more visuals such as images, infographics, etc., for my future posts since they always attracting readers’ eyes.

BEFORE
AFTER

Like a deliciously decadent mud cake that hasn’t been beautifully decorated, our writing needs to be pleasing to our eyes for our minds to fully appreciate the goodness within. (“How we read online…” Cynthia Marinakos)

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