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critical essay

⌖ Grids in webdesign


Choosing a specific angle for this essay ~ discuss the use of grids in webdesign, elaborating on its influence on brand enhancement as well as usability.

project brief

Grids are one of the most powerful principles and have been used for a variety of different design disciplines, from basic street plans to the architecture of the most complex high-rises - to product and graphic design.

So how are grids used in webdesign? Your essay (3,000 word illustrated essay plus 10 minute seminar presentation) will discuss answers to that question.

Choose a genre of website (for example: e-commerce of a specific product; booking services; portfolio of work), and, using annotated screenshots to illustrate your points, discuss the use of grid systems, referencing common measurements and rhythms. Draw your own conclusions and make use of the opinions of industry experts, webdesigners and developers to illustrate your points.

Your discussion should cover the points below and focus on interface/interaction design, user experience, CTA (call to action), typography and page layout.

  • Disposition of design elements
    How are grids used to present content? How does the visual balance affect understanding and interpretation?
  • Visual hierarchy and user guidance
    How is emphasis achieved? What is the effect of the layout on usability, legibility, accessibility of the content?
  • Inherent effect on image and branding
    How does the layout give credibility? What structure is used to enhance brand image and identity?


The essay must be online and viewable by the deadline.

submission requirements

The 3,000 word illustrated essay must be submitted online in the form of a blog post (the blog, along with log-in details, will be provided). All references must be cited and links provided.


Your final mark will be a combination of the quality of both the presentation and the essay. An indicative mark will be given for the seminar presentation, with a final mark given after submission of the essay.

This essay represents 30% of your total course mark.




↓ download project brief


  1. prisca

    the presentation should discuss your findings, ie the topic of your essay rather than the process of writing it. It will be interesting for us to see the different angles, genres and grid implementations everyone focused on.

  2. Yiannis

    Hi Prisca,

    About the presentation: During the presentation, do you want us to talk about our essay and how we went about writing it, research, sources etc. or is it based on answering the question ‘how are grids used in webdesign?’

    Thank you

  3. prisca

    Matine ;)

    about the blog – that is the blog David set up for you at the beginning of the course.
    The essay is to be submitted as an online page, this can be your blog, or you could of course create a separate, hard coded page for it, if you like. The PDF sounds good but on its own would not meet the brief’s criteria.

    You might want to complete it in InDesign anyway before then presenting it in a webpage, depends on your workflow ;)
    Hope this answers your question :)

  4. Matine

    Hey Prisca,

    Happy New Year!! Hope you had a lovely break.

    I have started my essay in InDesign, just because I find it easy to use and I can create a complete PDF with annotated images. Is that ok for the submission? I noticed it says to hand it in “as a blog and log in details will be provided”… not really sure what that means.. .which blog is it?

    Thanks a lot,

    Matine :)