Course Description

One of the key ingredients to a successful product is the creation of effective, efficient and visually pleasing displays. In order to produce such high-quality displays, whether they are graphical (e.g., websites) or tangible (e.g., remote controls), an understanding of human vision is required, along with the knowledge of visual perception. By observing, researching, and identifying examples of our perceptual abilities, we can design products according to these unifying qualities. In order to spread such skills within the world of interaction design, we have developed “Gestalt Psychology and Web Design: The Ultimate Guide.”

Gestalt psychology is a theory of mind which has been applied to a number of different aspects of human thought, action, and perception. In particular, Gestalt theorists and researchers attempt to understand visual perception in terms of the way in which underlying processes are organized and how they help us make sense of the world. The organization of these cognitive processes is important to our understanding of how we interpret the constant stream of visual information entering our eyes and how it becomes a cohesive, meaningful and usable representation of the world. Over the last twenty years, the work of Gestalt psychologists has been adopted by interaction designers and other professionals involved in the development of products for human users.

Within this course, we have compiled and consolidated some of the best resources currently available on the subject of Gestalt psychology and visual perception. To help you appreciate how you can apply Gestalt psychology to web design, we have provided many different examples from existing designs. These draw attention to the exact qualities, quirks, and features of visual perception. Moreover, they discuss how these have been accommodated and, on a number of occasions, exploited so as to support either the user's intentions or those of the designer or client.

The application of Gestalt thinking to design provides us with insights and new ways of approaching problems and challenges. By cementing in our own minds the many ways we organize visual information, we can improve our designs for all users.

What you will learn

  • The origins of Gestalt thinking and the principles of perceptual organization
  • How the Gestalt laws relate to web and product design
  • The benefits of a Gestalt-driven approach in improving a web user’s experience
  • How to analyze existing product and web designs according to the Gestalt principles of perceptual organization
  • An understanding of the Gestalt view of visual perception and its potential applications in designing products and websites

Who should take this course

This is a beginner-level course suitable for newcomers and experienced practitioners alike:

  • UX, UI, and web designers interested in applying Gestalt principles so as to boost the user experience of their designs
  • Project managers who want to gain an eye for looking at whether designs are pleasing and easy to use
  • Software engineers looking to advance their understanding of how to display user interfaces and graphics optimally
  • Entrepreneurs keen to create products that are visually optimized and thus will be more widely adopted
  • Newcomers to design who are considering making a switch to UX, UI, or web design

Courses in the Interaction Design Foundation are designed to contain comprehensive, evidence-based content, while ensuring that the learning curve is never too steep. All participants will have the opportunity to share ideas, seek help with tests, and enjoy the social aspects afforded by our open and friendly forum.

Learn and work with a global team of designers

When you take part in this course, you will join a global multidisciplinary team working on the course and the exercises at the same time as you. You will work together to improve your skills and understanding. Your course group will be made up of an incredibly diverse group of professionals, all of whom have the same objective—to become successful designers. It’s your chance to learn, grow, and network with your peers across the planet.

Lessons in this course

Note: Lessons become available at a schedule of one lesson per week. Once a lesson becomes available, it is open for you forever — you can take all the time you want to go through each lesson. There is no time limit to finish a course, and you always have access to your classmates, course material, and your answers.

The estimated time to complete this course is a total of 6 hours 4 mins spread over 5 weeks.

Lesson 0: Welcome and Introduction

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 44 mins.

  • 0.1: Welcome! (5 mins)
  • 0.2: An introduction to IDF courses (14 mins)
  • 0.3: Please check your information before continuing (1 min)
  • 0.4: Meet your peers online in our discussion forums (6 mins)
  • 0.5: Meet your peers offline through IDF Local Groups (1 min)
    • 0.6: The Timeless Nature of IDF Courses (11 mins)
    • 0.7: Your path towards earning your Course Certificate (5 mins)
    • 0.8: Mandatory lessons vs. Optional lessons (2 mins)
    • 0.9: A mix between video-based and text-based lesson content (2 mins)

Lesson 1: An Introduction to Gestalt Psychlogy

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 3 mins.

  • 1.1: The Origins of Gestalt Psychology (4 mins)
  • 1.2: The Underlying Principles: Gestalt Psychology (6 mins)
  • 1.3: Reification: Gestalt Psychology (8 mins)
  • 1.4: Multistability: Gestalt Psychology (8 mins)
  • 1.5: Gestalt Principles of Perceptual Organisation (7 mins)
    • 1.6: Figure/Ground Organisation: Gestalt Psychology (8 mins)
    • 1.7: The Law of Pragnanz: Gestalt Psychology (3 mins)
    • 1.8: Visual Perception Biases (5 mins)
    • 1.9: The Gestalt Laws of Perceptual Organisation (2 mins)
    • 1.10: "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing": Playing with perception (1 min)
    • 1.11: "Little Red Riding Hood": Playing with perception (1 min)
    • 1.12: "Come with a Story Leave with Another": Playing with perception (6 mins)
    • 1.13: Shigeo Fukuda: Playing with perception (2 mins)
    • 1.14: "The Perrito": Playing with perception (1 min)

Lesson 2: The Gestalt Principles of Perceptual Organisation

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 44 mins.

  • 2.1: The Law of Similarity (2 mins)
  • 2.2: The Law of Proximity (2 mins)
  • 2.3: The Law of Familiarity/Meaningfulness (3 mins)
  • 2.4: The Law of Symmetry (3 mins)
  • 2.5: The Law of Continuity (2 mins)
    • 2.6: The Law of Common Fate (2 mins)
    • 2.7: The Principle of Closure (2 mins)
    • 2.8: 'New' Grouping Laws (3 mins)
    • 2.9: The Law of Element Connectedness (2 mins)
    • 2.10: The Law of Common Region (2 mins)
    • 2.11: The Law of Synchrony (6 mins)
    • 2.12: Human Perception Biases (5 mins)
    • 2.13: Pareidolia: Playing with perception (1 min)
    • 2.14: Salvador Dali: Playing with perception (1 min)
    • 2.15: Octavio Ocampo: Playing with perception (5 mins)

Lesson 3: The Gestalt Principles in Web Design

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 29 mins.

  • 3.1: The Law of Similarity: Gestalt and Web Design (8 mins)
  • 3.2: The Law of Proximity: Gestalt and Web Design (7 mins)
  • 3.3: The Law of Meaningfulness: Gestalt and Web Design (4 mins)
  • 3.4: The Law of Symmetry: Gestalt and Web Design (8 mins)
  • 3.5: The Law of Continuity: Gestalt and Web Design (6 mins)
    • 3.6: The Law of Common Fate: Gestalt and Web Design (7 mins)
    • 3.7: The Law of Closure: Gestalt and Web Design (6 mins)
    • 3.8: The Law of Element Connectedness: Gestalt and Web Design (8 mins)
    • 3.9: The Law of Common Region: Gestalt and Web Design (4 mins)
    • 3.10: The Law of Synchrony: Gestalt and Web Design (7 mins)
    • 3.11: Identifying Gestalt Laws (6 mins)
    • 3.12: The Gestalt Laws of Perceptual Organisation: Playing with perception (2 mins)
    • 3.13: Steven Bonner: Playing with perception (6 mins)
    • 3.14: Exploit the Gestalt laws: Play with Perception (5 mins)
    • 3.15: Telling a Story: Playing with Perception (5 mins)

Lesson 4: The Benefits of a Gestalt-Driven Approach to Web Design

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 26 mins.

  • 4.1: The Benefits of a Gestalt-Driven Approach (10 mins)
  • 4.2: Group Perception: Gestalt and Web Design (8 mins)
  • 4.3: Group Perception: Summarising with examples (10 mins)
  • 4.4: Identification of Meaningful Elements: Gestalt and Web Design (10 mins)
  • 4.5: Distinguishing Items: Gestalt and Web Design (9 mins)
    • 4.6: Draw the User's Attention: Gestalt and Web Design (9 mins)
    • 4.7: Visual Perception: Your personal experience (5 mins)
    • 4.8: Salvatore Dali: Playing with Perception (1 min)
    • 4.9: "Mr Porter": Playing with Perception (1 min)
    • 4.10: "1minus1": Playing with Perception (2 mins)
    • 4.11: The Gestalt Laws in action: Playing with Perception (6 mins)
    • 4.12: Colour Decisions: Playing with perception (2 mins)
    • 4.13: Checklist for Designers: The Gestalt Laws of Perceptual Organisation (5 mins)
    • 4.14: Identifying Gestalt Laws (2 mins)
    • 4.15: Have fun! (5 mins)

Lesson 5: Summarising With Examples

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 37 mins.

  • 5.1: Impose Structure: Summarising with examples (8 mins)
  • 5.2: Identification of Meaningful Elements: Summarising with examples (8 mins)
  • 5.3: Distinguishing Items: Summarising with examples (7 mins)
  • 5.4: Draw the User's Attention: Summarising with examples (8 mins)
  • 5.5: Web Design Methods (6 mins)

Lesson 6: Course Certificate, Final Networking, and Course Wrap-up

To be scheduled.

  • 6.1: Course Evaluation (1 min)

Industry-trusted UX Course Certificate

You earn an industry-trusted Course Certificate once you complete the course - even if you finish the course after the official end date. In other words, as long as you have enrolled in the course you will always be able to finish it and to get a course certificate. You will also have permanent access to the course material, your answers and the discussions.

Course Certificates from the IDF are verifiable and trusted by industry leaders. You can highlight them on your resume, CV, LinkedIn profile or your website.

Course Certificate

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