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Design Aesthetics for Web Design
Illustration by John Hersey

Using hyperlink styles to create a sense of unity


From:

Design Aesthetics for Web Design

with Sue Jenkins

Video: Using hyperlink styles to create a sense of unity

The next principle of a design we will examine is unity or what some people refer to as harmony. In web design you can achieve unity through a pleasing balance of the elements of design like color, form, shape, and space. Another great way to keep the design cohesive and promote unity is to customize your hyperlink styles with cascading style sheets. Simply put, unity refers to the pleasing arrangement of all the parts within a composition. In design, we're often trying to communicate some kind of idea, promote a brand, or evoke a feeling.
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  1. 2m 8s
    1. Welcome
      38s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 30s
  2. 9m 10s
    1. Understanding aesthetics
      4m 41s
    2. Examples from art and design
      4m 29s
  3. 35m 44s
    1. Understanding the elements of design
      1m 47s
    2. Using color to set the site's mood
      5m 50s
    3. Tweaking color values to add contrast
      3m 30s
    4. Using texture to add depth
      4m 53s
    5. Repeating shapes to unify your design
      2m 43s
    6. Structuring your layout with form
      3m 50s
    7. Using space to organize your design
      4m 38s
    8. Setting boundaries with line
      4m 36s
    9. Communicating with the right fonts
      3m 57s
  4. 38m 26s
    1. Understanding the principles of design
      1m 45s
    2. Using contrast to set areas of interest
      3m 8s
    3. Applying font styles to show emphasis
      5m 23s
    4. Aligning objects to achieve balance
      4m 40s
    5. Using hyperlink styles to create a sense of unity
      4m 10s
    6. Applying background patterns to create harmony
      3m 14s
    7. Adding movement with scrolling and animation
      3m 31s
    8. Using border styles to add rhythm and repetition
      2m 57s
    9. Achieving proportion by scaling objects and text
      2m 43s
    10. Simplifying by removing the unnecessary
      3m 21s
    11. Using gradation to create perspective
      3m 34s
  5. 37m 45s
    1. Responsive web: Creating CSS for different devices
      3m 2s
    2. Composition: Using the grid to organize space
      4m 45s
    3. Typography: Choosing and using web fonts
      5m 15s
    4. Color theory: Picking harmonious colors
      4m 16s
    5. Communication: Leading viewers through a design
      6m 30s
    6. Accessibility: Using size and color effectively
      6m 10s
    7. Originality: Stepping out of the box
      7m 47s
  6. 1m 57s
    1. Next steps
      1m 57s

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Design Aesthetics for Web Design
2h 5m Beginner Aug 29, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

A basic understanding of the principles of good design (such as contrast, unity, and balance) is the foundation for creating beautiful websites. In this course, Sue Jenkins explains design aesthetics in simple terms, and shows how to incorporate the principles of design in specific ways that improve your site. Learn how to adjust adjacent colors to add contrast, create depth with texture, incorporate movement, and use repeating shapes, patterns, and borders to unify your design. Then, in the final chapter, learn about special issues designers should address in their web layouts, such as responsive design for mobile devices, accessibility, and originality.

Topics include:
  • Understanding aesthetics
  • Picking harmonious colors
  • Structuring your layout
  • Using space to organize your design
  • Communicating with the right fonts
  • Aligning objects to achieve balance
  • Adding movement with scrolling and animation
  • Achieving proportion by scaling objects and text
  • Creating CSS for different devices
Subjects:
Design Web Design Techniques Web Design
Author:
Sue Jenkins

Using hyperlink styles to create a sense of unity

The next principle of a design we will examine is unity or what some people refer to as harmony. In web design you can achieve unity through a pleasing balance of the elements of design like color, form, shape, and space. Another great way to keep the design cohesive and promote unity is to customize your hyperlink styles with cascading style sheets. Simply put, unity refers to the pleasing arrangement of all the parts within a composition. In design, we're often trying to communicate some kind of idea, promote a brand, or evoke a feeling.

So, in terms of design, you can think of unity as the relationship between the individual parts and the whole of the design used creatively to express a particular idea or emotion. When a design is not unified or harmonious, it's pretty obvious because the design can seem either boring or too busy. And bland design is not engaging. Even worse, chaotic design is often so disorganized and unharmonious that the human brain rejects it.

So here's an example of a super unharmonious design. And I'll just scroll down so that you can see how not good it is. I'm sure you're thinking to yourselves, oh, I'd do that differently, I'd do that differently, I'd do that differently. And let me show you an example of a more harmonious design. When done well, unity in a design presents information in a logical structure. There's a nice sense of order with visual interest that really engages the viewer.

So, as you're scrolling through this design, you go, okay, that's nice, that's interesting, I like it. And you're curious to see what might be happening in the next section so you'll continue to scroll down. It's not exactly the same as the previous section but it still holds your interest as the viewer until you get to the bottom of the page. Along with choosing appropriate fonts, colors, shapes, lines, photos, textures, and other decorative elements in a web layout. And then, using your alignment and distribution buttons to evenly space and distribute these various site elements.

As a designer, you also need to consider the unity of the user's experience. For instance, how will hyperlinks look and behave differently from regular text? These two is a design decision that can detract from or assist in achieving unity. After all, you can create several sets of link styles depending on their location and function within your design. For instance, you have navigation links, in line text links, featured item links, buttons, icons, and footer links.

As you likely already know, the default appearance for hyperlinks is underlined in blue for unvisited links and underline in purple for visited links. What you may not know, however, is that you can override these settings with CSS. There are four link states that you can style with CSS. Link, Visited, Hover, and Active. Keep in mind however that on touch-enabled devices, the Hover state is irrelevant. The most obvious change you can make when styling your hyperlinks to improved unity is to edit the color to match your layout.

In addition, for each of the four link states, you can turn the underline on or off. You can add a background color behind the text. You can work with borders or even change the font. Remember, however, when you're styling your links, not to go overboard, as extreme complexity leads to over stimulation. Links do not need to scream, click me, to the visitors. Conversely, don't be too timid since too little styling can lead to understimulation.

With unity, you're seeking a dynamic equilibrium. So, remember, customizing your hyperlinks is really a great way to enhance the visual unity of your site's designs. And interactively engage visitors in a satisfying way.

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