Each mobile app layout begins with a blank page. Successful designers know that the key to effective design is the placement of such elements as logo, texts, menus section, images, and so on. The arrangement of these components can be made either in symmetrical balance or asymmetrical approaches.
Symmetrical proportion is considered to be the most attractive to the human eye. Some studies show that the more symmetrical a person’s face is, the more appealing we find it. When it comes to mobile app design, symmetry has also won users’ preference, but it doesn’t mean that we should apply this approach everywhere.
The balance and harmony can be achieved either in symmetrical or asymmetrical approaches. But let’s find out when striving for symmetry or asymmetry is critical and why.
Visual and physical balance is important
We have experienced balance all the time since our childhood. You have probably remembered seesaws or teeter-totters where you were sitting in front of your friend. If your friend was in the same weight category, it was easy to balance and have fun. The force of each of you acted in a different direction, and their total sum was zero. But when you went on the seesaw with your elder sibling or parents, the physical balance was tipped. Yes, it still was the act in two different directions, but the sum was far from 0.
The same physical principle applies to designing mobile apps. If there are too many positive elements on one side and the other side is negative blank space, the balance is thrown off. Here, physical weight is substituted by visual weight, and visual direction replaced the physical weight act.
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Symmetry: pros and cons
We can achieve symmetrical balance by placing two elements of the same weight on equal composition sides. It is critical to stabilizing components around a fulcrum or an axis. Proportional balance is regarded as elegant and formal, and these are the main pros of this proportion.
The primary con of symmetry in mobile application design is statics. If the composition is primitive with several elements, the design can be considered boring and predictable.
Types of asymmetry
Based on balancing design elements around an axis, we can classify symmetry into the following kinds:
Symmetry doesn’t need that the components are opposite (at right angles) to one another. You can rotate the design around the central point. Look at the image of the rotational symmetry for better understanding.
Hence, don’t limit your creativity to designing just four pieces of the screen or page (i.e., the upper left, upper right, bottom right, and bottom left quadrants). Consider it more like a circle, with degrees and directions that you can utilize more.
Reflection symmetry is a kind of symmetry that is also known as the line or mirror symmetry because of its respect to reflections. It shows that if there exists at least one line that divides a figure into two halves, you will be looking at the example of reflectional symmetry. This type of symmetry is considered the strictest one as it requires maximum precision.
Translational symmetry occurs when something has undergone a shift or a slide in a particular direction through a specific distance with no rotation or reflection. In translational symmetry, we translate a component, so it doesn’t lose its symmetric properties. When it comes to mobile app design, such symmetry can be applied into one or two sections but not for the whole page.
The idea of glide-reflectional symmetry is simple to describe in footprints in snow or sand. You can reflect an image, so it seems like it changed in a particular fashion. It shouldn’t necessarily be opposed to the object – you can play with the elements, invert them, add some “drifting” effects, etc. If the goal is to show severe changes and transitions of the object or being, glide-reflectional symmetry can help with this task during mobile app designing.
Asymmetry: pros and cons
Designers can balance composition in a mobile app in symmetrical or asymmetrical forms. While symmetry is balanced by nature, asymmetrical balance can be achieved by placing each component of the composition harmoniously.
It is not proper to think that symmetrical balance is more common in nature than asymmetrical one. You can witness asymmetry in different sizes of crab claws, tree branches, or clouds in the sky.
The powerful pro of asymmetrical mobile design is its complexity.
Asymmetry is more interesting than symmetry because of its functional space around forms. If you want to draw users’ attention to some element, asymmetry is perfect for this task.
The con of asymmetry is actually hidden to its advantage. As space is organized in an unconventional way, it is hard to achieve a great effective pattern.
Implementation of asymmetry
You can surely go for asymmetry when you have enough time to organize elements to achieve harmony in asymmetrical layouts. If you seek ways to attract users’ attention, creating an asymmetrical design is a good idea. For example, good examples of asymmetrical designs are logos of Nike and Gatorade. Such asymmetrical layouts are used to draw eyes, and they are fantastic to convey movement.
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Design is important for companies who strive to make memorable products. A good Mobile Application Development company can cover all the stages in designing and development of an App for you. The experts will help with concept designing and building goal-centric websites, mobile applications, or software for you.
Remember that the paramount goal of design is communication. Design helps you tell a story to your audience, so make sure you tell it most effectively.
Opposites attract. If you want to achieve a great mobile app design, don’t forget to experiment. You can asymmetrically balance symmetrical forms or balance asymmetrical shapes symmetrically. Everything in your mobile app design depends only on what effect you want to create.
Maria Polianska, VP of Digital Marketing at Devtorium. Equal parts creative, digitally savvy, and analytical.
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