Visual Order and representation:
Here are mentioned the influences that a high degree of order has on a given representation:
order denotes a relative extent of generality:
Symbols usually have to denote and represent or stand for a whole class of objects/artifacts. This is a function that representations in verbal language undertake effortlessly by categorising and standing for a particular group. Further, by assigning a certain level of visual order in terms of simplified forms and details, the visual representation tries to denote objects with a certain degree of generality.
order strengthens a given representation:
For a representation used in a signage to be visible from a distance. It is essential for it to have the strength to stand out from its surroundings and be recognised for its representation of the given message area. A strong figure against the background, a certain amount of thickness for the lines and the use of symmetry are factors that can lead to this visual potential.
order smoothens the definition of the representation:
Representations that are viewed from a distance have the tendency to smoothen out perceptually. Sharp details, textural details, angular shapes and such details tend to become less prominent. It is always preferable to pre-smoothen such details so as to avoid distortion of information when viewed from a distance.
order brings about uniformity:
By following the same rules of imparting visual order it is possible to bring about uniformity in the visual features, both within and across the symbols. Such a group of representations could logically be identified as belonging to the same family.
order leads to learning:
Order tends to reduce complexity and arranges the various elements of a composition in an organised manner. This makes for easier comprehension, recognition and remembrance, leading to an overall enhancement in the quality of retrieval and processing of information.
The design process involves incorporating these attributes into the representations that have been selected after evaluation by the users. The above-mentioned factors that contribute towards
(a)the formation of visual simplicity through a reduction of complexity, and
(b)a rearrangement of its elements in an organised manner, must be integrated into representations. Conventions dealing with achieving the required level of order have to be followed universally so that this leads a modicum of uniformity across an entire family of symbols.