This is human nature. Our attention is programmed in such a way where we see the biggest, the boldest, and the brightest first. And then it moves to smaller, less bold, and less bright things.
As a designer, you can use this information to curate the experience of your user.
Alignment is a fundamental aspect of UI Design. And an important design principle is: minimize the number of alignment lines. It improves readibility and makes the design more pleasing to the eye.
In the images above, the image on the left has 1 alignment line. While the image on the right part has 4 alignment lines.
Here’s another example of how fewer alignment lines can make a great difference in improving the design.
Image on the left has too many alignment lines, while the one on the right has only one and looks more pleasing to the eye!
There are two fundamental types of alignment: Edge alignment and Center alignment.
Edge alignment is where you have all the elements having one side or edge lining up with a single line.
Center alignment is where you line up all the elements by their midpoint.
Depending on the usecase, you’ll choose one or the other. Usually, edge alignment is considered better. It’s quite easy to align elements in design software like Photoshop. Most design software will usually provide a ruler/guide to edge align all the elements.
Here’s two ways to interpret this: 1) You need to grab the user’s attention with your design. 2) You need to pay attention to every little thing in your designs.
To be a great designer, you need to do both. The latter lets you achieve the former.
UI Design is about tailoring the experience for your users by guiding their attention towards different important things.
Ways to use text to grab user’s attention:
Make its size larger or smaller.
Bolder or brighter in color. Or make it muted.
Use a typeface with a heavy weighting versus something that is thin or light.
Italicize words. Capitalise or lowercase some words.
Increase the distance between each of the letters to make the overall size of the words take up more space.
The most important thing when designing is testing! Make sure you try out different everything: colors, fonts, tones, angles, alignment, layout, etc. Experiment with different designs so that you can architect a user journey using various ways of commanding attention.