As a web designer, you might have tried several techniques for improving the overall user experience in your web designs. Well, one such absolutely brilliant technique is using symmetry.
Since balance forms an indispensable component of every field of work, you can easily leverage its potential in introducing intuitiveness for your designs. Considered as one of the most desirable trait of web design, balance is something you can’t ignore for sure.
Today, through this post, I intend to make you familiar with the aspects associated with use of symmetry in enhancing usability in web designs.
Knowing the different types of Symmetry
Referred to as the arrangement of balanced and well-proportioned elements in web design, symmetry comes in a variety of types as explained below:
1. Rotational Symmetry
Also known as radial symmetry, rotational symmetry is when an object is being rotated around a central point.
In other words, the object is being turned in equidistant increments, thereby making the object look exactly similar to what it looked like in its original position. Some popular examples where rotation symmetry is used in web designs include: design patterns, signs, letters etc.
For instance, on rotating a shape in a circular movement i.e. 360 degree, it becomes possible for you to create rotational symmetries with order 1, order 2, order 3 and order 4. When used in web design, rotational symmetry represents motion or speed.
2. Horizontal Symmetry
Regarded as one of the easiest to spot symmetry types, horizontal symmetry is when after drawing a line through the center from top to bottom of an item, both the sides tend to form the same outline.
For instance, consider the face of a dog. While the shape of face might have next-to-perfect symmetry, the coloring on each side of the face might be slightly different.
3. Reflection Symmetry
Also known as bilateral or line symmetry, Reflection symmetry is the one which results in producing the “mirror” effect of a particular object which has two sides.
One of the finest examples of reflection symmetry is a butterfly where its one-half is a mirror image of the other half. In addition to the vertical direction, reflection symmetry can also take on a horizontal direction.
When used in web designs, reflection symmetry works as the best match for grouping rows of related elements, thereby helping the website visitors in detecting similar elements within web pages in an absolutely convenient way.
4. Translational Symmetry
This is a form of symmetry wherein the object is being repeated across a plane while retaining its original size and orientation.
Perfect for a website layout, translational symmetry adds a unique elegance to websites which use a Metro style. As a highly versatile type of symmetry, translational symmetry can be used in collaboration with different asymmetrical accents for creating unique web designs.
Now, coming to some easy-to-follow tips on using the aforementioned three symmetry types in web designs:
Tip#1- Use Rotational symmetry for portraying action and motion
Unlike a flat or static design, the one which needs to simulate a particular type of movement or action must use rotational symmetry. If you’re designing a website wherein you want the visitors to take a specific action or perform a particular task, then including rotational symmetry can turn to be your best bet.
Tip#2- Use Reflection Symmetry for photography or portfolio websites
Since portfolio/photography websites focus on displaying images of similar order and size, I recommend you using the line/reflection symmetry in your web designs where you need to make your work look pleasing to the visitor’s eyes.
Tip#3- Opt for Translational symmetry when creating a design layout
If you need to place different pieces of content(for eg: text or images) with almost same size across the web design, then Translational symmetry is your best match. The best part of using translational symmetry is that you can disperse these pieces of content in addition to maintaining enough space for allowing visitors to identify everything that they want to locate on a particular web page.
Serving as a powerful design tool, Symmetry allows you to create a design that comprises of properly balanced elements which cater complete delight to the visitor’s eye. In simple words, using symmetry in your designs will enhance the user experience at a commendable level.