What is Visual Design?
Visual design aims to shape and improve the user experience through considering the effects of illustrations, photography, typography, space, layouts, and color on the usability of products and on their aesthetic appeal. To help designers achieve this, visual design considers a variety of principles, including unity, Gestalt properties, space, hierarchy, balance, contrast, scale, dominance, and similarity.
Visual design as a field has grown out of both user interface (UI) design and graphic design. As such, it focuses on the aesthetics of a product and its related materials by strategically implementing images, colors, fonts, and other elements. A successful visual design ensures that content remains central to the page or function, and enhances it by engaging users and helping to build their trust and interest in the product (and, consequently, the brand). The realm of visual design houses a wealth of issues for designers to bear in mind, ranging from the differences in cultural interpretations of the color red, to proper use of whitespace, to universal taboos such as the setting of red elements against blue backgrounds. It draws on a rich and lengthy history of the production of aesthetically pleasing, successful work.
By considering how they can form or arrange visual elements to address the principles of good visual designs, designers can shape the user experience in order to elicit user responses and behaviors that suit the use and purpose of the product. Inconspicuous, small details of a product’s aesthetics can thus play a significant role in the design of the user experience.