Moving on from ‘Simplifying your design‘, I think it is also important to remember something very important when designing. We need to think of the content first and treat it as the core of the design itself and create elements around it. It is very easy to get caught up in adding what can be described as ‘noise’ when most of it can be left out.
More so, when you are adding elements in to the design give them room to breathe. There is nothing worse than looking at information on the screen without being able to take it all in correctly. Elements which are too close together or the same size when one should be smaller than the other can become annoyingly awkward to interpret.
Using a grid system, can but not always help with this problem as even with the best grid systems out there, the gutters are still frustratingly thin so take them as guidance at best, if an element looks like it needs more room around it then it probably does.
Give them room to breathe.