The gestalt principles of perception – how do they work? How do they explain the fact that we sometimes perceive strange things, and how we can appreciate works of art? In this episode I take a close look at why people see a lot of strange things around them – including me. We’ll see images on lemon slices, on Mars, and on building tops. You might be surprised to learn that these principles are used by website designers, people who work in user experience and the design of user interfaces.
Resources on Gestalt Principles
- Click here or the image to the left to participate in an experiment I created for this episode. You can run this experiment on your friends, or even use it for a project in class. Have fun with it and let me know if you’ve got any feedback/suggestions. NOTE: The control condition is the “condition 1” button (random pictures which are unrelated to the man on the horse). The experimental condition is the “condition 2” button (pictures of animals which should help the viewer see the man on the horse in fewer steps than the viewers who were seeing random photos).
Here are a few sites which further explain some of the Gestalt principles of organization:
- You can learn how psychological gestalt principles apply to web design at the Web Design for Instruction site
- Here’s the NASA site where you’ll find the “Face On Mars” pictures.
- ‘Jesus on toast’ just a sign your brain is doing its job
- Here’s a good site which describes the gestalt principles. It’s from the Interaction Design website.