Why it’s ‘OK’ if Your Design is C.R.A.P. – Bryan Wiener

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Clean CRAP.

As a designer, it’s my job to ensure that the work I put out is quality, and not crap.  However, I have a confession to make: I’ve always loved C.R.A.P.   But wait a moment—let me explain, C.R.A.P is an acronym used to describe four design guidelines. C.R.A.P. is very effective and can be applied to all areas of design.

The “C” in C.R.A.P. – stands for contrast.  The distinction between design elements in a project should be very apparent. This allows the user’s eye to travel easily from one object to another down the page smoothly instead of creating confusion that can be repetitive.

The “R” in C.R.A.P. – Stands for repetition. Repetition can happen when designers add similar design elements throughout a project to create connectivity. For example, a designer thinks “this element is  positioned as a header on the page, so every element that is stylized the same way will serve the same purpose” and “this element looks like ‘X’ and so does that one, therefore they are connected by the stylization.”

The “A” in C.R.A.P. – ALIGNMENT!!! Sorry about that. I got excited about my favorite C.R.A.P attribute. Aligning objects on the page, if used correctly, creates a crisp, clean design that is unified. Placement can drastically change perspective and interpretation just by moving one element.

The “P” in C.R.A.P. – Stands for proximity. It suggests that all elements that are closely related should be grouped together in the same proximity as one another, making it easy to differentiate between groups. Design elements that aren’t related should visually be separated from one another.

Contrast. Repetition. Alignment. Proximity.  4-Key ways to determine that your design project is on its way to CRAP status.

My favorite part about this acronym is that if someone says that your project is C.R.A.P. it’s actually a compliment.

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