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This is my main form:

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and I wanted to apply a golden ration grid to its layout..so I did that but still I am not sure what does that mean? so from what I see ( below) what should I understand ?! When we apply such a grid, then what is next step? What does it tell you?

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What are you trying to achieve? It doesn't make sense to just draw lines over an interface and then ask what it means. –  dhmholley Sep 4 '12 at 15:32
    
How should I set the controls on my form such that it adjust with the golden ration layout ? –  BDotA Sep 4 '12 at 15:39
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Overlaying the golden spiral will lead you absolutely nowhere. Sure you can use the golden ratio as a guide to laying content out such as column widths, or aspect ratio of images or other content, but to be honest it's a mechanism that resonates more with print than with web pages or ui forms. See my answer to another similar question –  Roger Attrill Sep 4 '12 at 15:58
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Usage of the Golden Ratio is mostly arbitrary and often useless. Toss it out. It's not a useful crutch most of the time. –  DA01 Sep 4 '12 at 16:10
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"...wanted to apply a golden ratio grid to its layout." One has to ask Why? If the underlying reason were in the question, it might be possible to answer it. But I think @DA01 is right: generally there is no point, and especially in transient dialogs. –  Andrew Leach Sep 4 '12 at 17:23
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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I think you may have gotten mislead somewhere along the way. The golden ratio is an interesting idea, but I've never heard of any reputable designers explicitly using it as a design technique. (The comments seem to agree.)

I would suggest you look into some solid resources on form design and design in general. First, I would suggest Web Form Design. It provides a bunch of really valuable groundwork for designing forms. I'll bet it's just what you're looking for. Second, I would suggest you read Don Norman's The Design of Everyday Things. It's the one book I suggest to any designer. (Pay attention to the parts on 'affordances'.) After that, just read almost any UX / IxD book. A good one is About Face, by Cooper.

Never mind the golden ratio -- there are way more important things to be thinking about.

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Golden ratio in ui design is very difficult especially if your user interface supports different languages. The length of labels or data content can vary extremely.

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The golden ratio is a guideline and not a rule. Also, it doesn't just apply to the overall dimension of the window. You can also use it to proportion different components of the interface, or different sections of the window. I think the take home message is to take into account the content you are displaying and provide a consistent and reasonable way of applying proportions and distribution of the content rather than sticking to a formula. In the end, if your user has to scroll because you are sticking to a set ratio and not because you have anticipated the amount of information on the screen then it is definitely setting the priorities in the wrong place.

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