How to make any food tastier? Just add sugar, a trick the food industry giant uses to make everything so easy. Sugar is everywhere these days: burgers, soft drinks, skim milk, mayonnaise, even baby food!
In 1822, the average American consumed about 45 grams of sugar every five days, today it reaches 756 grams!
Our brains are constantly craving sugar, so we indulge in foods that contain it (brain scans show sugar is as addictive as cocaine). Sugar has no nutritional value, which only leads to higher profits for food manufacturers and creates health problems for consumers. There's a brilliant documentary about that, Fed Up. (Translator's Note: Fed Up is a 2014 American documentary directed, written and produced by Stephanie Soechtig. The film focuses on the causes of obesity in the United States, with a wealth of data showing that high amounts of sugar in processed foods are a source of neglect. .)
How to make your design better? Just add sugar, visual sugar.
What is visual sugar?
Visual sugar is any visual decorative element. The most common types of visual sugar are icons, gradients, shadows, textures, motion, etc.
Sometimes designers use them in meaningless or excessive ways to make their designs better, the key here is "meaningless". There's nothing wrong with b2b data these per se, it's just that they're used to sweeten otherwise tasteless and pointless designs.
Why is this so? Well, let's assume a situation where you're feeling a little bland while designing. what will you do? Add some icons, or gradients and shadows? It looks like you've made your design better, but in reality you're just disguising a superficial design.
Some designs are even downright sugar-coated (in a bad way). A lot of sugar has no nutritional value. Let's look at a typical dashboard from Dribbble:
How much sugar is too much?
According to the American Heart Association, men can consume up to 37.5 grams (9 teaspoons) of added sugar per day, while women consume up to 25 grams (6 teaspoons).
What about product design? How much visual sugar can be used in product design? Edward Tufte has the perfect answer in his book Visual Display of Quantitative Information: