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One of the more important principles of information design, Gestalt is a school of thinking first formed in Germany in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It argues that there are innate mental laws in the way humans perceive objects. Information designers and technical writers employ the laws of Gestalt to create materials (web screens, posters, brochures, how-to materials, and application interfaces) that convey information efficiently. These laws include: Law of Closure — The mind may experience elements it does not perceive through sensation, in order to complete a regular figure or word (that is, to increase regularity). You may see exctv and read executive, or you may see The quick brown fox and in your mind finish the phrase, jumped over the lazy red dog.
Law of Closure
Law of Continuity — The mind continues visual, auditory, and kinetic patterns. (Similar to the Law of Closure.) Law of Similarity — The mind groups similar elements into collective entities or totalities. This similarity might depend on relationships of form, color, size, or brightness. This is how you create books or chapters, by grouping similar items. You perceive something about the tasks to be similar, so you group them together.
Law of Similarity Law of Symmetry
Law of Proximity — Spatial or temporal proximity of elements may induce the mind to perceive a collective or totality. (Such as similar words stacked one above another may be viewed as a column even if a column was not really created.) Law of Symmetry — Symmetrical images are perceived collectively, even in spite of distance. Law of Common Fate — Elements with the same moving direction are perceived as a collective or unit. From these laws we can deduce that if we want to be sure a user will notice something, then we need to make it larger than anything else around it. We might also color or shade it differenly than anything else. If one object or word is related to another object or word, then we need to put them close to each other (maybe in a bulleted list). However, if we have a lot of related items, we should probably use a more visual device to help the user make the connection (such as a table).