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    The Gestalt Principles - Designing with the User in Mind

     

    Design is a huge part of creating your website, which is why good design is such a refined art. For today's article, an aspect of design known as the "Gestalt Principles" will be discussed. 

    Firstly, what does Gestalt mean? Gestalt is a term used in psychology, meaning "unified whole," and it helps describe how elements are organized into visual groups or "wholes" when these principles are applied. There are a few Gestalt Principles and they're very important when considering web design, they play into how a user will interact and follow your website. Take these principles into account when placing elements on your web page, and you'll guarantee a better user experience for visitors of your website. 

    Similarity

    The first of the principles is Similarity. This is one of the easier Gestalt principles to understand. Put simply, when objects look similar, they'll often be perceived as part of a group. This could include similarity in size, colour or shape. It creates a sense of unity between the similar looking elements. An element dissimilar to other elements is known as an anomaly, which can also help draw a user's vision, highlighting important aspects. 

    Closure

    Closure refers to the phenomenon when a viewer completes an image in their mind when the element or object is actually incomplete. The user is essentially filling in the gaps with their brain to create a unified picture, even though the image may look incomplete or broken. When blank or empty space is used effectively, the user's brain will complete the shape on its own. 

    Proximity

    This is another simple principle. Proximity is when elements are close together. When a viewer witnesses elements placed near each other, they tend to group them together as being similar or part of a whole. 

    Continuation 

    Continuation is when vision is drawn through an element and continues to another. The user's eye will naturally follow a path through an element if it contains continuation. This works best when the line is naturally smooth.  

    Using these principles is a great way to ensure visitors have an enjoyable experience when using your website. Because they play into how a user subconsciously processes a website, it is definitely a good idea to make use of these principles when designing the layout of your site. 

    Let us know how these principles have helped you out in the comments below!

    Image References:

    https://m2.behance.net/rendition/pm/18122387/disp/03c9269bb6a9d3f8783e29d1e98f6c67.jpg

    http://www.vanseodesign.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/gestalt-proximity.png

    http://peace.saumag.edu/faculty/kardas/Images/Web%20Images/Lecture/continuity2.GIF

    http://graphicdesign.spokanefalls.edu/tutorials/process/gestaltprinciples/gestaltprinc.htm

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