seen + learned

Visual Usability: Principles and Practices for Designing Digital Applications

Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013 | Posted by Debby Levinson | Labels: , , , ,

Our work involves constantly reconciling use and appearance. This isn't a new or novel struggle; it's inherent to designing, and evident in the gap between applications that look great and those that are highly functional.

Digital interfaces rely on common visual design tools to communicate – layout, type, color, and imagery, along with controls and affordances. We've written Visual Usability: Principles and Practices for Designing Digital Applications to provide a common language for defining and evaluating visual user interfaces that's grounded in how people perceive and interpret what they see.

Visual Usability provides simple, clear frameworks for designing web and mobile interfaces for meaning and appeal. It helps application design and development teams make interface decisions by focusing on three "meta-principles" we believe form the foundation of great application visual design: consistency, hierarchy, and personality. Each chapter offers guidance on how to make strategic decisions about layout, type, color, imagery, and controls and affordances that will bridge the gap between beautiful and useful applications.

We're thrilled to announce that the book is now available on Amazon,,, and elsewhere! We hope you check it out, and that it provides value to your team.

We are blogging examples of visual usability regularly via Tumblr at, and tweeting them at @VisualUsability. We hope to see you there!


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