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Distinctive Design: A Practical Guide to a Useful, Beautiful Web by Alexander Dawson

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Chapter 3: Principles of Information Design

The importance of valuing substance over style

Providing yourself with a distinctive design is important, but we need to give credit where credit is due. The content (with all the makeovers it’s likely to encounter over its lifetime) represents the core component of any successful website. This chapter explains how information design underpins the importance of the content’s role in a distinctive layout and how it helps make content in our layouts attractive.

Within this chapter, you learn about the relevance of research in your goals to produce a distinctive design in regard to your users, your competitors and your own inspirational concepts. I also highlight how the words you use (rather than visuals) create a distinctive layer of their own. I even explain progressive disclosure and the evolutionary style of content. Finally, because content isn’t only about text, I take a good hard look at using imagery and media to make your content stand out.

Revolutionary Researching

Information design is, at its core, a skill that holds more relevance than most other aspects of distinctive design. It is about preparing your content so that visitors can use it effectively. The way you express your message and how you decide what information is relevant is critical to having a distinctive design, so you must ensure that you don’t lose the message while you make your site eye-catching.

The value of content is undeniable. Search engines can’t index ...

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