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Size for visual importance

Incomplete

Size is one of the easiest and most obvious ways to give visual importance. It should not be turned to in every occasion (as we'll learn later), but it's a great start to start conveying what matters and making your design look more polished.

Size
Smaller
Balanced
Larger

Right from the get go, we can choose to make a few elements of the UI more important just by sizing them up, and sizing other elements relative to them down.

Let's bump up the size of the title and price (2 important pieces of info), and shrink the descriptive text just a little. You can see the difference it makes animated in the example below:

Cozy Studio

Wifi · Free parking · Air conditioning

$98 / night

  • Equal sizes make all data seem of equal importance.
  • Largest element will take the most focus.
  • Shrinking secondary elements can expose information without creating too much clutter.

In this listing card, the title is likely the more important thing to emphasize, so it ought to stand out when compared with the descriptive text and price next to it. The Law of Proximity applied in this case would suggest that the title, description categories and price are related. To create distinction and signal that they have different information, we need to style them in a unique manner.

See the difference it makes viewing them side by side:

Cozy Studio

Wifi · Free parking · Air conditioning

$98 / night

Cozy Studio

Wifi · Free parking · Air conditioning

$98 / night

Clearly, the card with adjusted font-sizes emphasizes that the title and price on the listing are more important than the descriptive items. You may not have noticed, but an important detail in maintaining balance in the design was not just making the big text bigger, but decreasing the size of the descriptive text. We'll bring this up again and again because balance needs to come on both sides of the design, emphasis and de-emphasis.

Already, this has helped this design to convey what it needs to, by only focusing on 1 angle of the options in the visual importance toolkit.

Good candidates for greatly increasing size that will still look great are:

  • text, especially headings
  • shapes, like for backgrounds

Worse candidates that can look awkward or strange when sized up too large are:

  • borders
  • shadows
  • icons
  • buttons (to a certain extent)
If you would like to draw emphasis to a title in your UI, what should you likely do to text around it?
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Build Beautiful UIs

Includes 2 modules (+ access to future modules as they are released):
  • Visual Importance
  • Design Systems
  • Colors (in progress)
  • Space & Size (in progress)
  • Data (in progress)
  • Typography
  • Shadows
  • Pro Details
  • Animations
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