- The human eye likes to find simplicity and order in complex shapes because it prevents us from becoming overwhelmed with information.
- Research confirms that people are better able to visually process and remember simple figures than complex figures.
- The human eye simplifies complex shapes by transforming them into a single, unified shape.
In 1910, psychologist Max Wertheimer had an insight when he observed a series of lights flashing on and off at a railroad crossing. It was similar to how the lights encircling a movie theater marquee flash on and off. To the observer, it appears as if a single light moves around the marquee, traveling from bulb to bulb, when in reality it’s a series of bulbs turning on and off and the lights don’t move it all. This observation led to a set of descriptive principles about how we visually perceive objects. These principles sit at the heart of nearly everything we do graphically as designers.
The time it takes to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of choices.
Elements tend to be perceived into groups if they are sharing an area with a clearly defined boundary.
Objects that are near, or proximate to each other, tend to be grouped together.