Course Description

Human vision is an amazing ability; we are capable of interpreting our surroundings so as to interact safely and accurately with little conscious effort. However, we are well attuned to nature and things that occur naturally in our environment, which has significant implications for design. Unless man-made products are attuned to, and support, human visual perception, the viewing experience suffers and there is significant potential that users will be unable to use your products quickly, safely, or without error. For this reason, it is essential that we investigate how we see the world and why we see things in the way we do in order to know what we can do to ensure our products provide the best viewing experience possible. This is why we have developed “The Ultimate Guide to Visual Perception and Design,” and why it is such an important topic for designers to master.

For those of us who are blessed with good eyesight, we seldom consider it. That’s why going off to investigate the whys and hows involved is a little like trying to get behind the wind for the sake of finding the exact spot where it comes from. Happily, getting to the bottom of the phenomena involved in visual perception is a lot less laborious, and perhaps infinitely more fascinating. During the course, we will first cover the basic anatomy of the human eye so as to understand how vision is formed. We will then look at lots of different designs, evaluating each one according to specific aspects of the human visual experience. We will also identify how we can improve designs to support human vision better and improve usability as a direct result. Using the knowledge it imparts earlier on, this course will then analyze the design of icons in screen-based interfaces.

What you will learn

  • How visual perception is formed, and what the anatomy of the eye is like
  • What the theories of human color vision are, as well as important color considerations
  • How to apply color information to designs
  • How to apply Gestalt principles, such as the law of proximity and the figure/ground organization, so as to create effective designs
  • How imagery, context, and attention form important considerations for all kinds of designs
  • How humans perceive objects, and how to use that knowledge for screen-based interfaces

Who should take this course

This is an advanced-level course greatly relevant to designers, particularly visual designers and UI designers, who are interested in creating effective software interfaces:

  • UI and visual designers keen on boosting their work experience with solid theory on visual perception and Gestalt principles
  • UX designers interested in gaining a deep understanding of how to create user interfaces and graphics that are effective
  • Project managers who want to learn how to use colors and graphics to communicate with users effectively
  • Software engineers who are interested in boosting their careers with an understanding of visual perception and design
  • Entrepreneurs with some exposure to visual or graphic design who want to improve how their products communicate with graphics
  • Newcomers to design who are considering a career in 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 42 mins spread over 6 weeks.

Lesson 0: Welcome and Introduction

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 47 mins.

  • 0.1: Welcome! (2 mins)
  • 0.2: An introduction to IDF courses (14 mins)
  • 0.3: Let our community help you (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: Gain Timeless Knowledge Through IDF Courses (11 mins)
  • 0.7: How to earn your Course Certificate (4 mins)
  • 0.8: Mandatory lessons vs. Optional lessons (2 mins)
  • 0.9: A mix between video-based and text-based lesson content (2 mins)
  • 0.10: The Exercise (6 mins)

Lesson 1: An Introduction to Human Vision

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 21 mins.

  • 1.1: Understanding Human Vision (11 mins)
  • 1.2: The Fovea and Design (3 mins)
  • 1.3: Anatomy and Function of the Eye (1 min)
  • 1.4: Designing Visual Displays (5 mins)
  • 1.5: Vision and Design (1 min)

Lesson 2: Visual Perception and Colour Vision

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 2 mins.

  • 2.1: Colour Vision: Visual Perception (10 mins)
  • 2.2: Using Colour: Visual Perception (12 mins)
  • 2.3: Theories of Human Colour Perception (8 mins)
  • 2.4: Colour Blindness: Visual Perception (12 mins)
  • 2.5: Photoreceptors fovea (6 mins)
  • 2.6: 25 Examples of Colorful Websites that Impress (5 mins)
  • 2.7: Color Vision 1: Color Basics (1 min)
  • 2.8: Vision and Design Considerations (1 min)
  • 2.9: Light Conditions: Visual Perception (2 mins)
  • 2.10: Colour Combinations: Visual Perception (2 mins)
  • 2.11: Your Experience (5 mins)

Lesson 3: The Gestalt Principles of Perceptual Organisation

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 2 hours 34 mins.

  • 3.1: A Valuable List of Gestalt Principles (5 mins)
  • 3.2: 'Law of Pragnanz' (9 mins)
  • 3.3: Applying the Laws (7 mins)
  • 3.4: 'Law of Similarity' (7 mins)
  • 3.5: 'Law of Proximity' (8 mins)
  • 3.6: Law of Familiarity/Meaningfulness (10 mins)
  • 3.7: 'Law of Common Fate' (2 mins)
  • 3.8: 'New' Grouping Laws (6 mins)
  • 3.9: Research: 'New' Grouping Laws (9 mins)
  • 3.10: The Law Of Element Connectedness (8 mins)
  • 3.11: 'Law of Synchrony' (6 mins)
  • 3.12: 'Law of Common Region' and The Origin of The Gestalt Laws (18 mins)
  • 3.13: Figure/Ground Organisation (9 mins)
  • 3.14: 'Figure/Ground' (8 mins)
  • 3.15: An example of Figure/Ground (6 mins)
  • 3.16: Design Considerations (7 mins)
  • 3.17: '1minus1': Playing with perception (2 mins)
  • 3.18: The Gestalt Laws of Perceptual Organisation (6 mins)
  • 3.19: 'Mr Porter': Playing with perception (1 min)
  • 3.20: Colour Decisions: Playing with perception (2 mins)
  • 3.21: Have fun! (5 mins)
  • 3.22: Checklist for Designers: The Gestalt Laws of Perceptual Organisation (5 mins)
  • 3.23: Identifying Gestalt Laws (2 mins)
  • 3.24: Gestalt Principles in Practice (6 mins)

Lesson 4: Important Considerations: Imagery, Context and Attention

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

  • 4.1: Using Images: Vision and Design (9 mins)
  • 4.2: Context and other influences (22 mins)
  • 4.3: Vision and Attention (13 mins)
  • 4.4: Visual Perception (9 mins)
  • 4.5: Vanishing Head Illusion (5 mins)
  • 4.6: Nature of Human Vision (5 mins)

Lesson 5: Object Perception and Design

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 18 mins.

  • 5.1: Object Perception (13 mins)
  • 5.2: Discussion Forum (5 mins)

Lesson 6: Visual Perception, Design Examples and Elaboration

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

  • 6.1: Icon Design: Visual Perception (16 mins)
  • 6.2: Vision and Design Consideration (12 mins)
  • 6.3: Seven Principles of Effective Icon Design (1 min)
  • 6.4: Icon Design Mistakes (2 mins)
  • 6.5: Icon Design Tips (1 min)
  • 6.6: Discussion Forum (5 mins)

Lesson 7: Course Certificate, Final Networking, and Course Wrap-up

To be scheduled.

  • 7.1: 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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