Designing for the Web ~ Layout
How Looking Room applies to the web We can apply the same theory to laying out a web page or application. Taking the three same elements — Subject, Space, and resulting Movement — we can guide a user’s eye to the elements we need to. As designers, or content editors, framing photographs correctly can have a subtle but important effect on how a page is visually scanned. Take this example:
If the image was flipped horizontally, the Looking Room is now on the right. The subject of the photograph is looking off the page, drawing the user’s eye away from the content. Once again, this results in a confusing back and forth as your eye fights its way over to the left of the page.
A little bit of Art Direction The BBC homepage uses great photography as a way of promoting content. Here, they have cropped the main photograph to guide the user’s eye into the content. By applying the same theory, the designer or content editor has applied considerable Looking Room (2) to the photograph to create balance with the overall page design, but also to create movement of the user’s eye toward the content (1)
Art Direction can be described as the act or process of managing the visual presentation of content. Art Direction is difficult to do on the web, because content and presentation are, more often than not, separated. But where there are images, and when we know the templates that those images will populate, we can go a little way to bridging the gap between content and presentation. By understanding the value of framing and Looking Room, and the fact that it extends beyond just a good looking photograph, we can start to see photography playing more of an integral role in the communication of content. We won’t just be populating templates. We’ll be art directing.
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Designing for the web