5 Elements Of Digital Design That You Should Be Optimizing

Most artists while undergoing their academic training often come across the expression ‘elements of design’. As soon as most of us go independent, we waste no time in discrediting them – only for them to return and taunt as they do play an important role in our design development process.

Ever heard of the elements of digital design? Read on.


Choose your design’s color sensibly! It’s part of your branding.

Research conducted by the secretariat of the Seoul International Color Expo documents the following relationships between color and marketing:

92.6 percent said that they put most importance on visual factors when purchasing products. Only 5.6 percent said that the physical feel via the sense of touch was most important. Hearing and smell each drew 0.9 percent.

When asked to approximate the importance of color when buying products, 84.7 percent of the total respondents think that color accounts for more than half among the various factors important for choosing products. – Jill Morton

Color is the first visual element that a lot of people connect with. Getting this wrong can very well destroy your design and your brand image in any and every possible manner. From the social-cultural meanings associated with them, color psychology and even the way colors interact with one another visually, you can’t make a good website without picking and mixing the right palette.

You wouldn’t want to blind your viewer with too much color vibration, you wouldn’t want the less important things to outshine the more important ones and let’s not even get started on what you’d be doing by painting a website providing eco-friendly energy solutions in baby pink!

Visuals and fonts

Images and fonts work almost as similarly as the color on the website. They carry inherent visual meanings and interpretations and getting them wrong too could affect your design.

Since visual appeal plays a major part in determining the value of the aesthetics of any digital design, a website with bad visuals is nothing less than a big fat fail! You can’t have your website looking all pretty with blurry, pixelated and generally unattractive visuals. There’s no excuse to not being able to get quality visuals. If you can’t get them off the internet, use a DSLR and snap your own. And the Van Gogh being visually impaired argument won’t work to justify low quality imagery as a masterpiece!

The same goes for fonts. The font you choose to use must compliment your brands image and must also be easily readable. There’s a reason why comics are written in something cartoony and not anything Gothic.

Space (Negative)

Unlike print design and pattern making, negative space has a lot more relevance in digital design. Why… because there are a lot more tiny things on a website than on a Martha Stewart runner! And they’re seen on a much smaller scale too.

Hence negative space greatly helps towards improving a website’s readability. From the space between characters and lines in text to the space between text and images, the space between call-to-action buttons and other non-so-significant buttons, negative space helps to separate everything properly instead of creating a messy situation.

More graphic designers are using more negative space in simple and flat layouts for websites nowadays.


Much like the conventional artist’s ‘movement’, a website too incorporates this element of motion in it’s design. The only difference being that the movement isn’t just visual, it also requires scrolling.

Given how responsive design has become a must for a website to survive in the digital world today, a website should be designed in such a way that it allows the viewer to view as much information as possible without having to tap (or click) too often. Now obviously, that doesn’t imply that everything should be crammed into a tiny field of view. Enabling scrolling in a single page design, a simple display of menu tabs with directional arrows if necessary and avoiding content that is overwhelming in space can very well tackle the problem with ease.

The Element of Relevant Information

73% of online consumers get frustrated when they come across content that has little to do with their interests. (HubSpot)
68% of consumers will spend time reading content from a brand they are interested in. (Content Marketing Association)
$135 billion will be spent on new digital marketing collateral & content in 2014. (NewsCred)
61% of consumers report feeling better about a company or brand that offers custom content – and are more likely to buy from them. (Custom Content Council) – Amie Reardon

This is a completely digital element and has absolutely no relevance whatsoever to other visual artists painting on canvas and textiles… or any other surface of their desired interest.

A well designed homepage is typically enough for any viewer to gauge what the website is all about – what services its providing and what products its selling. Nonetheless, an About Us page is still important (for the dumb viewer), a Contact Us page is also important (in case you wish to book a date) and a Call-to-Action button (or buttons) is also of the utmost importance otherwise you wouldn’t be able to sign-in – into Facebook!

The point being… relevant information needs to be designed in such a way that it is not only easily readable, but also easily accessible.
There’s probably a handful of more… but getting these right should set you on the right track.