View Full Version : Ridiculously Simple Focus Tip
10-20-2006, 08:42 AM
This morning I was working with an outlining program reviewing some project steps. I have known for some time that I have been resisting using this program, which has many fine features and has served me well. My resistance had to do with focus: the presence of other material above and below what I wanted to focus on was distracting. This morning, I stretched the main outline window out horizontally to about twice its former size, increasing the amount of horizontal white space around each item by a factor of two or more. To my surprise, each item in the outline section I wanted to focus on stood out much more clearly, and my sense of vertical clutter was tremendously diminished by the additional horizontal space. I knew that reducing clutter generally increases focus, but I didn't realize that spaciousness in one direction can reduce the sense of clutter in other directions.
10-21-2006, 07:22 AM
Along the same lines, its worthwhile to spend some time customizing the menus, toolbars, display options, etc. for programs you use regularly. Usually the defaults for these are setup to showcase whatever features the software author wants to highlight, which may not have anything to do with the most frequently used features. Customizing can get rid of a huge amount of screen clutter.
10-22-2006, 10:18 AM
Congradulations, you stumbled upon on one of the key graphic design elements ... use of "white space". The addition of white space or space with out text or graphics greatly reduces clutter and makes it easier to focus in on the main points!
If your interested in exploring this topic further take a look at the following link:
10-23-2006, 07:04 PM
FWIW, white space is something graphic designers consistently try to insert, and clients consistently try to remove. ;-)