Digital Feng Shui
How Digital Design Mimics the Basic Principles of Feng Shui
Life doesn’tslowdownfor anyone and time passes quickly in this digital day and age. Because of this, web design must make the best use of viewing time through balanced experiences which flow efficiently. Every web design project must be treated like an intricate puzzle with many pieces which require prioritizing and methodical arrangement to create a perfect picture. In this blog, we’ll explore how our content, design, and development teams work together to establish harmony and strengthen the balance in every website we work on.
What is Feng Shui?
The ancient Chinese philosophy of feng shui is defined as a “practice of arranging pieces in living spaces in order to create balance within the natural world. The overarching goal is to harness energy forces and establish harmony between an individual and their environment.” (source)
How does this translate to a digital floor plan?
Any visual calculations, whether in a physical room or a website, depend on the exact space and thecontents within. Taking this into consideration in combination with general feng shui guidelines and principles will inspire visual improvements that make any website visit a more pleasant, energized experience.
Principle 1: The Commanding Position
One ofthe most important rules in feng shui is the commanding position, or the position of your most prominent pieces of furniture. These main items should be visible directly after entering any room, and in web design, should be visible within the first few seconds after your website has loaded. Within seconds, viewers should be able to see your logo, an elevator pitch about your company, and your main website navigation links. Think of these commanding items as your digital couch, bed, or desk. Our content team uses this principle when writing a strong, impactful, yet compact opening homepage statement and organizing the main structure of your website.
Principle 2: Vertical Movement
Integrating vertical shapes, lines, and visuals in your home (or website) shows movement, growth, and expansion.Leading the eyes upward within your available parameters gives a feeling of height and growth. Our UI/UX designers use this principle when wireframing and prototyping websites so users know when, where, and why to scroll up and down a webpage and most importantly, where to click. Knowing the perfect balance of how much vertical space to utilize will keep engagement just long enough for viewers to take the next step and reach out.
Principle 3: Less is More
This is our design team’s favorite principle to stand by. In feng shui, clutter is believed to take up valuable space and creates an unnecessary sense of chaos, which can harm your productivity. In fact, “Scientists at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute have used fMRI and other approaches to show that our brains like order, and that constant visual reminders of disorganization drain our cognitive resources and reduce our ability to focus. They also found that when participants cleared clutter from their work environment, they were better able to focus and process information, and their productivity increased.” (source) Our team uses this information to make choices on what to keep (or not to keep) when designing every webpage so content and visuals are kept easily digestible.
Principle 4: The 5 Elements
Feng shui uses a 5-element system which, when combined, enhances the qualities of any home. The system, which stems from Taoist philosophy, is inspired by the cycles of nature and includes earth, metal, water, wood, and fire. This system can be translated to the digital landscape into a combination of 5 important website elements: Brand awareness, lead generation, customer/client support, voice, and structure. Using these elements as the building blocks and higher goals of a website will lead to a well-balanced, performative website.