Five steps to effective digital communications design

Digital media today is omnipresent & all-pervasive. Websites, video, audio, digital text, and animated multimedia are the most popular forms of consuming information. As per the World Internet Users Statistics, over 2.4 billion people use the Internet throughout the world. Goggle alone generates more than 100 billion searches every month. How do content developers & marketers persuade users to absorb their content? The answer is simple – effective digital communications design.

Digital communications design is defined as the art of creating persuasive communication content – texts & visuals – on all forms of digital media, from websites to social media pages. It is a pre-requisite in all job profiles that involve conceptualizing, producing, delivering, and receiving digital content.

A course in digital communications design can is fast becoming a specialisation. Keeping in mind the high demand for trained digital media professionals, in this post we will discuss the five golden rules to effective digital communications design.

Source: University for the Creative Arts

Rule 1: Layout & colour

Use no more than five colours in a single layout. More than five colours strain the eyes of the user, and look unappealing. Ideally, the colours should match the colour scheme of the product/ brand. If you feel you need more colours, it is advisable to use different shades of a single colour. Present content in a way that guides readers in a logical hierarchy. Aligning different elements in a layout will help maintain consistency, and provide an overall neat look.

Rule 2: Iconography & illustration

Icons should be simple, universal & easy to understand. Once too often, designers lose track of their purpose & come up with icons that distract the user from the purpose of the content. Make sure icons are put in place to enhance comprehension. Illustrations should match tone & subject matter. It should be included only to enhance the overall experience of absorbing content.

Rule 3: Simplicity

Avoid unnecessary design, including 3D charts, ornamental illustrations or extraneous elements. Research suggests that a simple design is more likely to attract the user as compared to a flashy & cluttered one.

Rule 4: Negative space

Keep significant negative space. When there is too much information in a layout, messaging becomes cluttered & incoherent. It is important to provide enough breathing space for the content & visuals to look inviting & easy to read. Industry experts suggest that the most popular social media websites leave more than 50% area as negative space.

Rule 5: Callouts

Use call outs sparingly. They should only be used to highlight the most vital bits of information. Using too many callouts can be risky business as it will eventually tire the user, leaving him disinterested to go through the rest of the information.

Have we missed out on any other rules in creating effective digital communications design? Or would you like to know more about a specific aspect? Let us know by leaving your comments below.

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