It’s all C.R.A.P.: Four Principles of Design

2 Geeks talk about Design!

What a bunch of C.R.A.P.!

There are four principles of design that we want you to get under your belt.

If you’re a designer, you’ll know this stuff already. If you’re a programmer, you might not. What’s important to understand is that if you can get these 4 principles under your belt, then over time you’ll develop a feel for why designs don’t work, and you’ll identify that really, really fast.

It’s like you’ll have some secret superpower.

Watch the video, read the stuff below, and suggestion: if you haven’t ever seen this stuff before, print it out, put it on the wall, and absorb!

The 4 Principles of Design

C.R.A.P. CRAP Contrast Repetition Alignment Proximity - these are the four rules that rule design.

Follow these four rules for better design!

C. is for Contrast.

Creating contrast for elements means that discrete elements stand out. Contrast is all about making things stand out. A call to action that is red on a black and white website will stand out in a big way. Users know where to look first, second, third, last. This helps with scanning, especially with making ‘special’ things stand out.

R. is for Repetition.

Repetition, for instance making a header and footer the same color, makes scanning a website easier. Bullet lists are easy to scan, right? Because the repetition of the little dots makes it so. This can create a cohesive look to a website. Obviously, color and shapes are important with repetition.

A. is for Alignment.

Columns within a page makes it easier to scan horizontally. Newspapers use this to great effect. Aligning a whole bunch of elements with one another makes them scan faster. Alignment makes things easier to read.

P. is for Proximity.

Proximity means that things are associated with one another – or not. The closer things are, the more they are associated. The farther things are away from one another, the less they are associated. This helps immensely in navigation. This kinda folds into the ‘chunking‘ method of making data more digestible.

Tell you what, just watch the C.R.A.P. video, OK?

Gregory and Mark


Greg Cox

Analytics Geek. Gregory likes Motorcycles, Cooking, and Sciencey stuff.

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  1. Website Designing July 2, 2014 | Reply
    Very inspiring article for us Thanks for the great article. …. It’s definitely a good idea for me and my friends to learn the things that’ll expand their skill set Your ideas and presentation is very effactive and useful for all. I am loving all of the in turn you are sharing with each one!… Being a user i really like your visible information on this pageWebsite Designing
  2. Pingback: Data Visualisation – The Power of Infographics | Morgan Edwards March 21, 2015

    […] ICTs enable our students to look at things in new ways and create things that would otherwise be impossible, and infographics are just one example of this. Infographics are a creative and interesting way of representing information, whereas the old fashioned bar/column/line graphs are visually boring. Infographics also require the use of programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator, along with a clear knowledge of how to apply design principles (such as the CRAP principles). […]

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