getUXperienced! – part 1

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Leverage Negative Space (White Space) Effectively

There is an old design theory called “horror vacui”; which literally translated, is Latin for a fear of
emptiness. hor-ror va-cui a fear or dislike of leaving empty spaces, especially in an artistic composition.”

Steve Jobs got that. And, RAN the total opposite direction! As you should too.

He did not employ horror vacui in his Apple product designs; but rather, he took a minimalistic approach incorporating negative space like the genius that he was. In fact, Apple Corporation has totally embraced emptiness; and physiologically, we associate that emptiness with ease-of-use, with a hint of sophistication.

In part one of my series, entitled "getUXperienced!", I will dive head first into UX design principles that we use in designing our award-winning Business Process Management (BPM) and Rules-based Digital Transformation solutions.

Before we get into the “goodies” – just a little note about me – I”ll keep it brief. I began my career developing computer-based training and multimedia solutions (hence the design passion) and quickly zeroed-in on helping clients achieve digital transformation, through Business Process Management (BPM) and Rules. I currently manage the Appian practice and also help guide our implementations in design principals. This is my passion.

So, without further ado, I am thrilled to bring my UX design passion to you.

What is Negative Space (White Space)?

Simply put – its empty space.

I prefer to call it “Negative Space”; as opposed to “White Space” because, the design real-estate per se is “void” of any major or minor graphical elements: such as, text, images, buttons; rather than, literally being white! Major elements in a composition is “macro whitespace.” Micro whitespace, is the space between smaller elements.

Believe it or not, white space can be any color; which really allows us to create a balanced, harmonious layout. When whitespace is used to lead a reader from one element to another, it’s called “active whitespace.”

In BPM UX it is extremely important in providing end-users with a design that helps them systemically complete their tasks in an efficient manner, opposed to a cumbersome experience!

Negative Space, in a Digital Transformation Solution should:

  1. Improve readability
  2. Prioritize content
  3. Focus on what’s important

Time for getUXperienced! Example(s)

An example of superb usage of negative space – one, that we are very familiar with is the “Google” search interface. We do this hundreds of times per week, and look how easy – now Search.

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Notice how Google forces you (in a pleasant way) to do one very important task, and only one.

Below, our Pharmacovigilance and Label Management solution collects and evaluate adverse effects of medications with the related submissions of all label changes. To learn more, visit:
http://princetonblue.com/solutions/pharmaceutical-solutions/pharmacovigilance- label-management/

Notice, the process is kicked-off by one field, selecting the drug that has the adverse effect.

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In both examples an excellent use of negative space effectively allows users to get their work done in an elegant and efficient manner. Improved readability; Prioritize content; and Focusing on What’s important are screaming to you, but in a subtle way.

Let’s Take the Next Step

Let us demonstrate our award-winning digital transformation applications, that applies this design element, as you await part 2 of getUXperienced! Please visit our website at http://www.princetonblue.com and request to have us contact you.

Danny Leo
Danny Leo
Danny Leo is an Appian Practice Leader at Princeton Blue.

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