Unit 1 – How people see

In everyday life we take the way in which we view the world for granted. We constantly rely on our eyes to solve visual problems without thinking about the way that they are constructed or even shown to us. The most obvious example of this is optical illusions. When we run into an optical illusion our eyes are attempting to finish an equation or solve a problem that might not even be there. While this can usually work to our advantage, it may also lead to an incorrect interpretation. Because we are creatures of habit, and we operate on consistency, we end up missing messages or objects because of the repetition of visual cue’s we see every day. Web design comes with a hefty amount of these cue’s or affordances. As we are designing navigation for a website, you have to keep in mind the affordances that people are used to. Navigation is most commonly placed in the upper right hand corner, with the logo or mark in the upper left. And while we have become used to dealing and looking for navigation on websites, for other operations such as buttons or links, we need another cue to get us to the next step. Using drop shadows, outline strokes, difference in type weight, or difference in type color have all become ways in creating affordance for users. This need to create visual elements that cater to the masses, while also breaking out of the mold and making something new is what makes graphic design so great.

Unit 1 – How people see

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