Design Theory: The Rule of Three
One. Two. Three. Now stop counting and think about how elements grouped into triplets can work in your projects.
In rhetoric three, there are three points that lead to the main idea of speech. In photography and art, the rule of thirds will help you build your composition. Even the American Declaration of Independence is based on the rule of three: life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. How to implement this magic number in your projects? We have several suggestions.
Adjust images and videos to fit the rule of thirds
The rule of thirds divides the frame into nine equal parts. An imaginary grid can be used for cropping, cropping and editing images and videos. The rule of thirds is a simplified concept, but incredibly convenient.
There is a more complicated tool – the Fibonacci Spiral. But the rule of thirds has 5 advantages:
- It is simple and easier to apply in life.
- Standard editors like Adobe Photoshop already have a grid tool.
- It creates visual harmony in the image.
- Sweet spots — intersecting points along the grid — are easy to find and align.
- Free variation on the golden ratio may seem more natural.
Guide for lists
Lists are a great way to make content attractive to users. But you may not know what is ideal to make lists of three items. They already report enough, but do not overwhelm the user. They are easier to remember and easier to read at a glance. Elements must be of the same length and volume.
After all, it is not without reason that trilogies are common in films or books – remember Star Wars or The Hunger Games.
Group design or navigation elements
From images to navigational elements on maps, grouping elements of three is always visually appealing, structured well, and increases the overall user flow.
This works for horizontal and vertical grids. The sites below are completely different visually, but they are equally effective because they apply the rule of three.
Divide your project or article
Just like a play has three acts, divide your project or content into three parts. This will make the site, especially with a lot of content, easier to navigate and understand. Everything has to have a beginning, a middle and an end, right?
Use 3 keywords in your promotional materials
Perhaps you remember the slogan of the Olympic Games in Sochi – “Hot, winter, yours.” You can also use this technique in your work. Think about your website, app, or even yourself. Describe in three words. Now use this three-word description every time you talk about the site, app, or yourself.
This will create a story about a product or brand that people can tell. Three words are easy to remember and come up with.
You may not have noticed this rule until you learned about it. It is harmonious and created by nature itself – maybe that s why the rule of thirds is timeless.
Conclusion: Count it. Before. Three. And no higher mathematics, who needs it?