In one second the user should understand generally where they are
—largely driven by visuals and functionality.
If we can keep people for 10 seconds, they should understand our primary message.
If they stay for two minutes, some secondary messages should be getting through.
All this feeds into a call to action.
Journalists use the inverted pyramid style of writing to quickly convey the most important information of a story to readers. It works because no matter how far into an article someone reads the most important information gets through.
A good design begins with a good design concept. You’re trying to solve a problem and your concept will lead the way and give you direction for your design decisions. How do you form a concept? What questions do you need to ask in order to develop one? How does your concept become the roadmap for your design?
Imagine a boulder leaning too far over the cliff’s edge. Seeing that boulder you think it should come crashing down the mountainside. It’s out of balance and you feel the tension of the impending crash. A similar feeling happens in your visitors when the composition of your design is visually out of balance.
Ideas are the lifeblood for a web designer. You need ideas to get you started on any new project. Where do those ideas comes from? Where do you find inspiration? How do you develop a process to have a never ending stream of ideas at your disposal?
White space is to be regarded as an active element, not a passive background.
Form exists within space. Without whitespace there is no form as one provides the contrast in which to see the other. Learning to see and use the space in your designs is one of the most important things you can do as a designer. Space can be active and space can be passive and while both have pros and cons we generally want the space in our designs to be active.