5 Gestalt Grouping Principles to Make Instructional Design More Meaningful
Gestalt psychology relates to the principles by which humans perceive the real world and organize objects into a perceptual whole. Let’s briefly review how the Gestalt principles can help design more effective instruction and elearning.
The Law of Proximity:
If elements are close to each other, they are grouped together as a part of the same object.
Design Implications: Examples of a category need to be arranged in close proximity to indicate the CATEGORY or CLASS of objects.
For example, in a diet chart, visuals of protein foods should be kept close to each other and on the other hand, visuals of carb foods should be kept together.
If you have numerous bullet points or list elements, you can group the bullets or list elements meaningfully into fewer categories to ensure a better recall.
The Law of Similarity:
If elements share same properties, they are placed in the same set.
Design Implications: It’s not accidental that info-graphics use similar color coding for tables. If you are using a similar color coding for your tables like this very table, remember that the human eye will move horizontally to compare table entries and read the table much like a dot-matrix printer or typewriter prints information.
The Law of Closure:
Even if a figure has a gap, or a small amount of its border is missing, the object is perceived as a whole.
Design Implications: This principle essentially tells you that the learner supplies the missing part of the information to meaningfully complete the imagery.
When designing elearning, it simply means you don’t have to show an entire office room for scenarios, some representative objects do the trick.
The Law of Good Continuation:
If lines cross or are interrupted, people tend to see continuous lines that flow in a continuity.
Design Implications: This principle essentially tells you that the learner is processing information in a three-dimensional way even though they see two-dimensional images.
Sourcing graphics is way easier with the knowledge that you rarely need the visual of the entire object to show its presence.
The Law of Common Fate:
If things are moving in the same direction people group them together.
Design Implications: This principle has implications for the way you animate objects in your elearning. Apply similar animation effect and direction to objects of a common category.