Designing with Gestalt
When I started at Lucid Agency, my mentor taught me about the Gestalt Principles. Our goal as a digital marketing agency is to design for the user and the Gestalt Principles are one of the best tools a designer can use to create the ultimate user experience. My mind was opened to a new way of thinking about design. Instead of just creating beautiful graphics to convey a message, I was able to control the flow of the design to persuade users. It is no secret that a marketing plan and psychology go hand in hand, and the Gestalt Principles provide some context into the human psyche.
What are the Gestalt Principles?
Created by German psychologists in the 1920s, the Gestalt Principles are a set of laws that describe human perception of objects by relative distance, recognizing shapes and patterns, and simplifying complex imagery.
Law of Closure
The mind is a powerful thing. When seeing objects that are incomplete or when parts of it are not enclosed the mind will fill in the gaps to complete the figure.
Our brains only need the appropriate amount of information to fill in the gaps. This allows designers to reduce the amount of visual noise to create a more palatable message.
Law of Proximity
Elements that are related are grouped closely together more so than those placed farther apart. Though they are separate elements within a group they will be perceived as a single whole.
The use of white space can help guide the users to useful information that is within proximity of each other. This allows the users to group similar information and content at a glance.
Law of Similarity
Similarities can vary from color to shape to size or even texture. When the eye focuses on these similar characteristics, the mind will group these objects together.
As stated above there are a variety of ways to make design elements similar, color, size, shape, texture, and orientation. By creating contrast when similarity is used it can draw a user’s attention to a specific focal point. This is a common technique to create a call to action.
Law of Continuity
This law occurs when the user’s eye is compelled to move through one element and then continues to another.
The Law of Continuity provides the user with guidance through the page or document creating an enjoyable seamless experience.
Law of Common Fate
Elements that are perceived as moving in the same direction are more closely related than those that do not.
The Common Fate law can be seen in collapsible menus, accordions, parallax scrolls and swiping indicators.
Design is about creating content that generates results. Regardless of your skill level and whether you are a freelancer, work in-house, or at a digital marketing agency, the Gestalt principles offer a timeless foundation. Implement these principles into any marketing plan to keep users interested, help companies achieve goals, and create a satisfying experience for all.
Does your business have any design needs? Let’s chat!