The Importance of Mathematics in Web Design

By Kathleen Taylor, Bud E. Smith

Graphic design skills are most often the entry point for web design jobs — and technical skills, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript coding — are what distinguish the better-paid web developers from others, with those who can “cover the waterfront” for both skillsets being the most desired of all.

However, mathematical skills are an important underlying element in web design, even for those who are not so technical themselves. Mathematical thinking is clear, crisp, and concise. These characteristics are all desirable in web design. Even if you’re an artist or writer, which are roles that do not normally require a math background, having an interest in, affinity for, and ability in mathematics are desirable characteristics.

Not all uses of math for web design require a detailed understanding of advanced mathematics. For instance, design principles such as the golden ratio and the golden rectangle have been used since antiquity, and are still taught in design schools today.

To learn more about how mathematics are used in web design, visit Smashing magazine.

For a fascinating article about how these mathematical principles and others are reflected in nature, visit the NIH website.