How heavy should this line be? Should I use weight, value, or dashes to de-emphasize it?
I’ve really enjoyed reading Connie Malamed’s blog Understanding Graphics lately, especially a number of posts in “The Visual Language of…” style. As a way of introducing the site to others, I can recommend reading her latest, about our perception and interpretation of dashed lines.
This post is exactly the kind of design writing I like to read: carefully thought-out, research-based reasoning instead of chalking things up to ephemera like intuition and “feel.” Without underestimating talent and emotion in visual design, as a developer I need more grounded principles to apply in broad software contexts.
In visual language, the dashed line gives us a way to express the idea that something is not concrete.
Line style is something I admit to fussing over and sometimes feel guilty about, but with a slow rolling-out of the facts and some references to vision and cognition research, Connie gives a great explanation of why we should pay attention to our lines.