Once upon a time designers had the time to actually think and change the design guides and rules, create movements and inspire other designers. Nowadays designers live in the patchwork era where they take a look to the past thoughts on typography, layout, art movements and like sponges absorb elements here and there and then apply them to their design, which is more and more focused on the digital platforms.
The average page visit lasts a little less than a minute
One of the main issues of the internet is the time. How long will users stay on a web page before leaving? Not very long and the average time for each visit is less than a minute, in some cases 10-20 seconds. Most of the time we don’t read more than a quarter of the text displayed on the screen. It is interesting to notice the difference of the text in an article on a print newspaper and the length of the same article on the online version, obviously much less. So little of what you say on your website will get through to users.
Keep it clutter-free
For the visual information it’s the same. It can be tempting to put as much information and as many graphics onto your website as possible. However, all of this can result in a lack of attention from the user. So, try and keep it simple and uncluttered in order to ensure that the message is as strong as possible.
In order to find an answer to those problems we could take a look at “the Swiss Style” of typography and layout. These pioneering graphic artists saw design as part of industrial production and chose photographic images and typefaces that were industrial looking rather than those designed for books. The style of these artists received worldwide admiration for their formal discipline. Images and text are organised by geometrical grids. Colours and text treatments are mixed with images to produce a clear message to the viewer.
Swiss design and Web Design
Swiss designers’ modernist approach remains an indispensable part of today’s graphic language, especially for digital platforms where time is a crucial variable. This style teaches the web designer to create a clean, beautiful and functional website. White spaces are also an important element not considered most of the time. White spaces help information be absorbed much more easily and avoid clutter of information. Overall legibility will be much higher.