The Gestalt principles are a set of rules that explain how people see things and put them together. In the early 20th century, a group of German psychologists known as the Gestaltists came up with these ideas. The word “Gestalt” comes from the German language and means “form” or “shape.” The Gestalt principles are based on the idea that the brain organizes stimuli into patterns and shapes instead of seeing them as separate parts.
Gestalt principles in web design describe how people see and put together groups or wholes of visual elements. The idea behind these principles is that the human brain organizes stimuli into patterns and shapes instead of seeing them as separate pieces. By knowing these rules, web designers can make websites that look better and make more sense. Here are some ways that the principles of Gestalt can be used in web design:
The Gestalt principles were first made to help people understand how they see the world around them. Since then, they have been used in many different fields, such as psychology, design, and art. In web design, the Gestalt principles are used to make designs that make sense and look good and are easy to use and understand.
A great course on these principles can be found on Udemy
Reification, also called objectification or concretization, is a Gestalt principle that describes how the brain tends to see confusing or incomplete stimuli as whole and complete. This principle is based on the idea that the brain is always trying to make sense of the information it receives. It will fill in gaps or missing information to make an image that makes sense.
Reification can be used in web design to make designs that look good, engage the viewer’s brain, and get their attention. A designer might use reification to make a logo that looks like a whole shape but is actually made up of separate parts. By using reification, the designer can make a design that is easy to understand and remember, as well as one that looks good.
Multistability is a Gestalt principle that says the brain can interpret a single stimulus in different ways depending on the situation and the viewer’s frame of reference. This principle is based on the idea that the brain is always trying to make sense of the information it receives, and that it will interpret ambiguous stimuli in different ways depending on what is going on around them.
Multistability can be used in web design to make designs that look interesting and draw people in. For example, a designer might use multistability to make an image that can be seen and understood in different ways by different people. By using multistability, the designer can make a design that grabs the attention of the viewer and makes them want to look closer.
There are a few perceptual organization principles that help the brain organize and make sense of visual information. These ideas are based on the idea that the brain is always trying to make sense of the information it receives. To do this, it organizes stimuli into patterns and shapes to make an image that makes sense.
Some examples of laws of perceptual organization are as follows:
Proximity: People think that things that are close to each other are related or connected.
Similarity: People think that two things are related if they look the same.
Closure: The brain tends to finish shapes that are half-done or partially hidden.
The eye tends to follow lines or curves, which creates a path for the gaze of the viewer.
Figure-ground: Things are either seen as the figure (the main point of interest) or as the ground (the background).
If designers understand these rules, they can make visual materials that look better, make more sense, and are easier for viewers to understand and interpret.
Visual Perception Bias
There are several biases in visual perception that can affect how people perceive and interpret visual stimuli. Some common biases include:
- Anchoring bias: The tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information encountered when making a judgment.
- framing effect: The way in which the presentation of information influences decision-making.
- halo effect: The tendency to allow one positive characteristic to influence overall perceptions of a person or thing.
- confirmation bias: The tendency to search for, interpret, and remember information in a way that confirms preexisting beliefs.
- representativeness heuristic: The tendency to judge the probability of an event based on how similar it is to a typical example.
Understanding these biases can help designers create visual materials that are more effective at communicating their message.
Gestalt-driven design is a way of making things that is based on the Gestalt principles of perception. These principles explain how the brain organizes and makes sense of visual information, and they can be used to make designs that look good and fit together. Using a Gestalt-driven design approach has some advantages, such as:
Improved usability: Designs based on Gestalt principles are usually easier to understand and use, which can make a website or app easier to use in general.
Added visual appeal: Designs that look organized and go together tend to be more appealing to the eye, which can help engage the user and make their experience better.
Better brand recognition: Designs that use Gestalt principles tend to be more memorable and unique, which can help people recognize and remember brands.
Increased conversion rates: Designs that are visually appealing and easy to use are more likely to turn visitors into customers, which can help to increase conversion rates and drive business success.
Overall, a Gestalt-driven design approach can help designers make better, more effective designs that are easy to use, stand out, and are easy on the eyes.