One of the primary purposes of design is to help the user understand your intentions and make decisions: what is to be done here, where do I look, what is the most important thing here, etc.
Susan says, “This photo of a jumble of hats offers no clear direction and shows no underlying structure. It features a ton of textures from straw to canvas to felt, and patterns from checkerboards to banded colors. Hats are piled upon hats with no obvious order at all.
What is right and what is wrong with this image from a design standpoint are basically the same. While the mind might struggle to organize this chaos, the mind also revels in the wild abandon of the hats. Because there is no clear center, no balance, no hierarchy, the eye is free to look closely at individual hats, looking for an interesting or bizarre hat among the hat explosion.
I don’t recommend this design approach if you want to be in control of the viewer eye, but, gosh, it’s fun, isn’t it? Did you find the hat that you wanted?”
Lucia says, I agree with Susan, this photo definitely represents what not to do. But sometimes it’s fun to break the rules. So I decided to fill the frame with this plethora of textures. Now, look at the photo as a whole – not as individual items. See how the shadows of the hats play on each other and the dappled light on the right adds dimension to the textural soup. The lighting adds a gradient layer to the overall photo, gradually changing from light to dark. This may not solve the problems Susan explained, but it’s another way of looking at this jumble of hats. By the way, Susan, I did find one I like – the floppy one on the left.”
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