Paul Jackson 

The Smallest Effective Difference

Edward R. Tufte—Visual Explanations p.73

Tufte describes this principal as the ‘Occam’s razor’ of information design. You take a visual element, such as a border on a image or a background for a table cell, then ask yourself: is the difference here noticeable, and no more.

Use less to show more. When creating designs, screens, web pages, information graphics, the idea is to use just noticeable differences.

Left: Do this — Right: Don’t do this

This principal is all about contrast. Too much and things look and feel wrong—due to the additional noise; not enough and the desired effect is lost. With just enough difference you’ll emphasise what is important and deemphasise what is not.

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Designer, iOS/macOS Developer; rider of motorcycles

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Paul Jackson

Paul Jackson

Designer, iOS/macOS Developer; rider of motorcycles

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