Design Consistency


A while back I wrote a post Design Tips for Developers. I’m not a designer, but I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about design. Recently, I had the experience of trying to figure out why my site didn’t look quite right. Actually, I have this experience quite often as a developer.

Everything about the site looked the way I wanted, but something was off. After staring at the screen and flipping back and forth through the pages for an unspeakable number of hours, I came to a revelation. What it came down to was consistency.  The columns widths were slightly off on each page. The subtitles were also slightly off. The margins may have also been slightly off. It was the reason for the anxiety I felt as I flipped through the pages. The site felt like it was 95% done.

I made the very subltle changes and all of a sudden the problem was solved. Identifying and fixing the final 5% took about as much time to do as the initial 95%. It seems pretty obvious to keep things consistent, but as they say it’s a lot easier said than done. I guess the moral is to keep things consistent between pages and to not leave the last 5% unfinished.