The 5 Principles of grouping that govern human perception

This article is structured as follows:

  1. What is Gestalt Psychology
  2. Principles of Gestalt Psychology
  3. Applications in Product Design
  4. Other areas of application

What is Gestalt Psychology

Psychology is the branch of science that aims to understand how the brain works.

Gestalt is a German word that roughly translates to “configuration, shape, form, or the whole” or “the way things are put together to form a whole object”.

Gestalt Psychology specifically, is the school of thought explaining how the human brain perceives objects in its immediate environment. …

The McDonald’s golden arches (Photo by Jurij Kenda on Unsplash)

McDonald’s can arguably be described as the pioneer of the fast food industry. It is definitely one of the oldest and largest players in the space to this day.

Thanks to the novel corona virus, I spent Christmas in 2020 cooped up in my little apartment alone, bored and at a loss for things to do. I had been scrolling through Netflix for a while before I remembered “The Founder.” A movie about McDonald’s that a friend had recommended, that I had put off watching for a few days.

About an hour into the movie came the inspiration to pen…

People going through a maze
People going through a maze
People going through a maze (Photo by Susan Yin on Unsplash)

The main purpose of every product’s existence is to understand users’ needs, and developing a solution that alleviates that need. However, user needs are continuously evolving. As such, it is existentially important for products to evolve along with these changing needs.

User journey maps are a handy tool for understanding how users interact with your solution (or a competitor’s solution), and guiding the product evolution process by highlighting specific pain points or opportunities for improvement.

Not only is this a UX tool, it can also be used to guide business decisions such as; product, marketing, and merchandising decisions.

So, what is a User Journey Map (UJM)?

A User…

A man’s hand holding a smartphone that is displaying a USSD code
A man’s hand holding a smartphone that is displaying a USSD code

Depending on the country you reside in, and whether or not you are using a smartphone, it is likely that you haven’t dialled a USSD code in a long while.

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is also referred to as quick codes or feature codes. It is a communication protocol used by GSM cellphones to communicate with the mobile network operator’s computers.

USSD technology is commonly used for several purposes (yes, even in 2020);

  • Mobile money services: sending cash, checking balances, saving and requesting short term instant micro-loans — this is one of the most popular uses of this technology.

A splash of rainbow colors dissolving in water at the same time
A splash of rainbow colors dissolving in water at the same time
Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

Color accounts for an innumerable part of the success of any given brand. The right use of color, or the wrong use of it, could be the defining factor for whether or not users download/look over your app in the store, enjoy your app, or delete it after one use. The same also applies to product branding.

Color works in cohesion with iconography, typography, and an overall optimized UX to achieve optimal results.

Humans are creatures of emotion. Colors subconsciously evoke different emotions in people. …

Designing user interfaces and experience is hardly a one time task. Rather it is a multilevel, and often iterative process.

If you are new to the design scene you’ve probably heard the words wireframes, mockups and prototypes being used interchangeably, which can be very confusing at first.

However, while they are all related, each of these terms is the embodiment of a different stage of the design process.

“Confusing wireframes with prototypes is like assuming an architectural blueprint and a display house, are the same thing.”

UXPin founder, Marcin Treder

What is a wireframe?

This is the product of the…

Beyoncé’ assuming a different position and wearing different costume from her dancers’ — this makes her more memorable (not that she needs any help on that front)

The Von Restorff effect is also known as the Isolation effect

Official/technical definition: This is a psychological principle that predicts that when multiple homogeneous stimuli are presented, the stimulus that differs from the rest is most likely to be remembered.

Unofficial definition: The Von Restorff effect explains that of a group of similar objects, the one that looks different from the rest is most likely to be remembered.

This is one of the principles of psychology used by designers to enhance the user experience in different applications.

Naturally, users inherently place a different degree of value on an item based on whether it is placed in isolation, or next to other…

Adobe, the dojo behind the creativity of almost all all types of creatives. From visual designers, FX artists, User interface designers et cetera. You don’t even have to be a creative to benefit from adobe products, such as Adobe Spark which you can use to make slide decks with an edge. Anyone that ‘just wants to make cool shit’ can find a home in any of the products in the creative package.

The Adobe creative suit is the one stop shop for all the creative tools you need. At a price obviously, as is the nature of any business venture…

UI/UX Prototyping tools (image: Carl Cahill — Creative Bloq)

There are numerous tools online touting themselves as the one stop shop for UI/UX design. While most of them are good, and offer incredible utilities for design, they come with a price tag would be crippling beginners with a humble bank account.

Who says designing like a pro has to break your bank?

Here’s a list of some great tools, most of them free or free-ish(has a free plan), that you’re going to want in your arsenal as you build your design portfolio.

  1. Your pen and paper (free)

Charity Mbaka

UI/UX | design| AI & big data | stand up comedy | GIS | book worm

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