Chapter 4


Our exploration of the visual usability tools begins with layout: positioning elements in a structure that people understand, and making decisions about and defining templates for what should appear onscreen. Creating layouts based on a rationale that accounts for use, behavior, and aesthetics sets the stage for screens to communicate in a helpful, appealing way, and is covered in detail in the case study later in this chapter.

The meta-principles of consistency, hierarchy, and personality affect layout, and layout in turn informs them. Successful layouts support and reinforce the meta-principles through consistent visual hierarchies that help people know where to look and when, and arrangements that communicate the application’s ...

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