Law of Uniform Connectedness

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Image created with Midjourney. Image prompt: A cluster of connected dots, forming a clear pattern in the midst of unconnected, scattered dots, colourfoul, 2d

The "Law of Uniform Connectedness" is one of the key principles derived from the Gestalt laws of grouping, which were first proposed by Gestalt psychologists to account for the observation that humans naturally perceive objects as organized patterns and objects, a principle known as Prägnanz1. It states that elements that are visually connected are perceived as more related than elements with no connection. This rule applies not just to visual perception but to our understanding and interpretation of information as well.

This principle has significant implications for the design of digital software products. Here are three examples of how it can be applied:

In User Interface (UI) Design

The law of uniform connectedness can be used in the design of user interfaces to group related elements together. For example, in a web form, fields related to the same information (e.g., user personal details) can be visually grouped together using borders or background colors. This helps users to understand which fields are related and should be filled out as a group.

In Data Visualization

When representing data visually, such as in a chart or a graph, elements that are connected or related should be visually grouped together. For example, in a line graph representing sales over time, data points from the same year can be connected with a line to show that they are part of the same data set.

In Content Layout

The law can also be applied to content layout on a web page or within an app. By visually connecting related pieces of content, designers can guide users to consume the content in a way that makes the most sense. For example, a news article and its related images and captions can be grouped together to ensure they are perceived as part of the same story.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the law of uniform connectedness can serve as a valuable tool for software designers, helping to create digital products that are intuitive and easy to use. By considering how visual connections can be used to group related elements, designers can improve the user experience, making it easier for users to understand and interact with their software.

Origins

The principles of grouping (or Gestalt laws of grouping) are a set of principles in psychology, first proposed by Gestalt psychologists to account for the observation that humans naturally perceive objects as organized patterns and objects, a principle known as Prägnanz. Gestalt psychologists argued that these principles exist because the mind has an innate disposition to perceive patterns in the stimulus based on certain rules. These principles are organized into five categories: Proximity, Similarity, Continuity, Closure, and Connectedness.

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