Have a look at this picture. What do you see?


A bicycle? Or the steering wheel, pedals, spokes, tires, brakes, seat, and frame?

Most people see a bicycle on it.

The idea that we perceive things as a single whole, and not as an aggregate of constituent parts, underlies Gestalt psychology.

Principles of Gestaltism are especially important for designers. They must be remembered when creating holistic and attractive visual elements.

Based on the theory of psychologists Max Wertheimer, Kurt Koffka and Wolfgang Köhler, six basic design principles can be formulated.

1. Common area

When we look at the image, we subconsciously divide the objects into primary and secondary.

2. Similarity

Objects that have similar characteristics, we perceive together. Such characteristics may include color, size, font, shape, texture, etc.

3. Proximity

We group together objects that are close to each other.

4. Closedness

We subconsciously combine objects that are incomplete to create a single whole.

5. The adjacency

We monitor visually aligned objects until they are interrupted.

6. Integrity

Alignment and symmetry are attractive to humans and underlie good design.

If these psychological principles are ignored in design, it looks inappropriate or incomplete.

Users’ views are delayed on inconsistent elements, which prevents them from seeing the big picture. Perhaps you will not even understand that something is wrong, but you will feel it.

The best design makes our world a bit less chaotic. This is the secret of its attractiveness.


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