Hierarchy

Also known as visual hierarchy, hierarchy is the ordering of priorities in a design. This may include different visual elements, such as contrast, colour, font size and placement on a page. The graphic designer's job is to create an understandable document using organisational systems that the reader easily understands.

More terms you might want to know

Scale

The distance between two points of extrusion or an object. It can also be defined as the measurement of size.

Terminal

The end (straight or curved) of any stroke that doesn’t include a serif. Some typefaces feature ball terminals on letters such as the ‘f’, ‘a’, and ‘c’.

Carousel

A series of slides that are positioned one after the other. As you scroll through the images, the next image in the sequence is automatically loaded. Once you scroll to the end of the carousel, it cycles back around like a horse on a circular track.

Glassmorphism

The use of light or dark objects positioned over colourful backgrounds. Blurred backdrops allow bright colours to come through and convey a sense of frosted glass.

Font Style

Designers and developers use font styles to denote differences in meaning between two or more words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or blocks of text. Typical font styles in CSS and web development are normal, italic, oblique and inherit.

Pagination

A technique used to sequentially present items in a list or other data set that are too long to display at one time.

Design Debt

A concept used in systems design to describe the negative consequences of making seemingly innocuous design changes. Shorthand for a product's delayed but inevitable need to be reworked due to earlier, seemingly trivial decisions not having been fully thought through in the original release.

Designers incur this "debt" by making quick and easy choices that save time in the present but cause more complex problems later on down the road when it becomes necessary to change or add something.

Fitts' Law

A prediction model used in human-computer interaction. It states that the time required to move to a target area rapidly increases as the distance to the target increases. The law was proposed by Paul Fitts, an American psychologist, in 1954 as a mathematical model of movement with limited cognitive capacity.

Fitts hypothesized that one would quickly select its first apparent target when reaching for an object before considering alternatives — a phenomenon called "target fixation." This tendency would increase progressively with increased distance between the subject and object until it eventually became exponential (i.e., too far away).

White Space

The area of negative space around and between elements in a design.

Gamification

The process of adding game-like qualities to an experience like a website or application. To ensure that these activities are engaging enough for the users, it often includes gradual rewards such as levels and badges systems, which can further encourage engagement with the app.

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