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Gestalt Principles

What is Gestalt Principles?

The Gestalt principles, derived from Gestalt psychology, are a set of principles that describe how humans perceive and organize visual elements into meaningful patterns. These principles help designers understand how users perceive and interpret visual information. The key Gestalt principles are:

Figure-Ground: Humans naturally separate visual elements into a foreground (figure) and a background (ground). Designers can use contrast, color, size, or placement to create clear figure-ground relationships.

Similarity: Elements that share similar visual attributes, such as color, shape, size, or texture, are perceived as belonging together or forming a group.

Proximity: Elements that are close to each other are perceived as related or belonging to a group. Proximity can be used to visually group related elements and create visual organization.

Closure: Humans tend to mentally complete or fill in missing parts of incomplete visual elements or patterns, perceiving them as whole. Closure allows designers to use incomplete or fragmented elements to create recognizable forms or shapes.

Continuity: Humans perceive continuous and smooth lines or curves as belonging together. Designers can use the principle of continuity to guide the viewer's eye along a path or create a sense of flow.

Symmetry: Symmetrical arrangements or elements are perceived as stable, harmonious, and balanced. Symmetry can be used to create visual order and convey a sense of equilibrium.

Common Fate: Elements that move or change together are perceived as related or belonging to the same group. Common fate can be applied to animate or dynamic elements to create a sense of cohesion or relationship.

Prägnanz (Good Figure): Humans tend to perceive and interpret visual information in the simplest and most organized way possible. The principle of Prägnanz suggests that we perceive and remember forms that are simple, clear, and concise.

Why is Gestalt Principles important?

By applying these principles, designers can create visually coherent and organized designs that are easier for users to understand, navigate, and engage with. Understanding how users perceive and interpret visual information helps designers create more effective and intuitive user experiences.

How to use Gestalt Principles?

Apply the principles of Gestalt psychology in the visual design of products or services to create a coherent and organized visual hierarchy. Use proximity, similarity, closure, continuity, and other Gestalt principles to guide users' attention, perception, and understanding of the design.

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About Akendi

Akendi is a human experience design firm, leveraging equal parts experience research and creative design excellence. We provide strategic insights and analysis about customer and user behaviour and combine this knowledge with inspired design. The results enable organizations to improve effectiveness, engage users and provide remarkable customer experiences to their audiences.