Course Description

Human vision is an amazing ability; we are capable of interpreting our surroundings to interact safely and accurately, with little conscious effort. However, we are 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, why we see things in the way we do, and what we can do to ensure our products provide the best viewing experience possible, which is why we have developed The Ultimate Guide to Visual Perception and Design.

During the course we will look at lots of different designs; evaluating each one according to specific aspects of the human visual experience. We shall also identify how designs can be improved to better support human vision and improve usability as a direct result. Below we have provided a full lesson-by-lesson break down with a short description for each lesson:

Lesson 0 - An introductory lesson, in which we introduce the basic principles behind the Interaction Design Foundation Courses and ease you into the subject of visual perception and design.

  • Welcome!
  • Check Your Information
  • Meet Your Peers (Online)
  • Meet Your Peers (Offline)
  • The Didactics and Pedagogy of the Course:Is Old New Bad News?
  • The Didactics and Pedagogy of the Course: Research-based Vs. Example-based Learning
  • The Didactics and Pedagogy of the Course: Course Structure

Lesson 1 - An Introduction to Human Vision

Human vision refers as much to the role of the brain in helping us generate an accurate image of the world as the eye itself. However, before we address the role of the brain in creating our impression of the world, we cover some of the basic anatomy of the human eye and begin to relate the nature of human vision to design.

  • The Human Eye
  • Visual Perception and Anatomy of the Eye
  • (Video) Anatomy and Function of the eye

Lesson 2 - Visual Perception and Colour Vision

Colour plays a vital role in most designs; helping to signal function and assist users when making judgements and decisions. Colour is a powerful designer's tool; in this lesson we emphasise the importance of colour to user experience and describe some of the physiology underlying human colour vision.

  • Visual Perception and Colour
  • Important Colour Considerations
  • Theories of Human Colour Vision
  • Colour Blindness Considerations
  • (Video) The Fovea
  • Applying colour information to existing designs
  • Lesson Discussion

Lesson 3 - The Gestalt Principles of Perceptual Organisation

In this lesson we begin to address the effect the brain has on our perception of the world around us. The Gestalt principles provide us with a number of descriptive laws, demonstrating the relationship between visual information and human perception.

  • A summary of Gestalt Principles
  • The Law of Pragnanz
  • The Law of Good Communication
  • The Law of Similarity
  • The Law of Proximity
  • The Law of Meaningfulness
  • The Law of Common Fate
  • New grouping laws
  • New grouping laws continued
  • Law of Element Connectedness
  • Law of Synchrony
  • Law of Common Region
  • Figure/Ground Organisation
  • Types of Figure/Ground Organisation
  • Perceptual Organisation
  • Lesson Discussion
  • (Video) Gestalt Principles: A Demonstration

Lesson 4 - Important Considerations: Imagery, Context, and Attention Three important considerations for all designers.

  • Using Images
  • The Role of Context
  • Attention

Lesson 5 - Object Perception

The design of graphical elements and complete displays requires an understanding of how we perceive objects. We generally think of objects as tangible things in our surroundings, but so much of our lives now spent staring at computer screens, it is important that we understand how object perception influences what we see in screen-based interfaces.

  • Object Perception: An in-depth view
  • Lesson Discussion

Lesson 6 - Visual Perception: Design Examples and Elaboration

We now apply some of the information we have covered to the design of icons in screen-based interfaces.

  • Icon Design: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
  • Icon Design: Supporting Recognition Over Recall
  • Lesson Discussion

Lesson 7 - Course Wrap-Up, Course Certificate, and Course Evaluation

As you can see, we go into great depth; covering some anatomy at the beginning to ensure you understand what we mean when various words and terms are used in relation to design in later lessons. We guarantee that by the end of the course you will have learned how to design products which support and even exploit the nature of human visual perception.

Like all other IDF courses, The Ultimate Guide to Visual Perception is instructor-led, which means your answers will be marked and there is always someone available to respond to your queries or offer assistance if you are struggling with any aspect of the course. We really hope you choose to enroll on The Ultimate Guide to Visual Perception Design, as better designers means better products!

Industry-trusted 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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