Do Not Afraid Of White Space
The primary step to proper implementation of proximity is to understand the important of white space within design. Lack of white space is usual problem in many designs. Whenever designers try to convey a message through his design his natural understanding is to fill out the white space rather than organizing white space. Well-organized white space direct user to a intended direction, generates distinctive look and make a impression.
Into above example of W3Avenue there are number of contents but still have effective use of white space. It doesn’t distract the user visually. Hence it can be easily understandable that although you do not have particularly unique with contents, but design can drive a strong traffic to website or blog.
So do not afraid to have empty space within your design. Use it generously but effectively to make design more visually appealing. Proper and effective use of white space is first step while implementing principle of proximity.
Grouping Visually Related Elements
Use of white space is a just a one part of proximity implementation. Remember that you use white space generously but if contents are not organized logically and correctly, then it will not be so effective.
There is no need to talk more when you will take a look at following business cards.
This example illustrates the importance of proximity in print design, and a similar idea can be used for elements in web design, as shown in the screenshot below.
Into this example of Arora Designs, you will notice that this website is not content-heavy, but use of white space and visually grouping of logical elements makes it more attractive. And one more thing which must mention is that, white space is not always white as you can see here in colored.
Forming Visual Hierarchy
If you want to give your web design a clear and clean visual hierarchy then, using white space properly and organizing related items is a compulsory task. Website/blog design and flow of information is the base of correct proximity.
Hierarchy give use a clear idea of elements. Hence helps to communicate the principle of website/blog. Following is a good example of visual hierarchy.
White space into above example gives these lists an effective and clear look. Applying this proximity principle within this simple HTML lists makes them visually appealing.
Layouts Which Are Easy to Read or Scan
Hierarchically and logically organized contents can easily scan and read. e.g. Heading should be clear indication of what the article is about. Always remember that a website/blog which uses proximity in its design and information flow, never distract user with contents. So needless to say, that proximity should have emphasized significantly on content-rich websites/blogs. News websites are excellent case-studies for this principle.
A good color choice gives a pleasant look to LA Times website. It also has clean and neat look. A big logo helps for effective branding of website. Generously use of white space between contents, grouping of logically related contents makes this website amazing.
While designing a layout using proximity principles, you should keep in mind that ads may be necessary for financial reason but they should not distract reader from main contents.
Use Grid System
Grid system helps to group elements and use white space properly within design. Always use grid-based principles from the planning stage. Designer should use grid-based layout with proper gutter sizes as it allow plenty of spaces between sections. And in some cases it drag designer toward principle of proximity although they are not in his mind. Here is the example.
Above example are not content-heavy like news websites, but they give elements a plenty of space and visually attractiveness. These websites have implemented 960 Grid System.
Guide User to March in Appropriate Way
Proximity helps users to navigate contents without delaying or difficulties. Primary and vital contents should be clearly separated through navigation, so that they will be found quickly. Appropriate visual hierarchy helps users to scan and read most important sections of your website quickly and efficiently.
Proximity is not only a design principle that allows making a website/blog more usable and visually attractive, but also it is imperative aspect for many bases.