Next, we’ll look at how we derive meaning from an interface through our vision. We’ll look at this through two lenses. The first is the Gestalt Principles which describe how we perceive collections of objects as more than simply the sum of their parts.
- Gestalt Principles (interaction-design.org)
- Bonner. Using Gestalt Principles for Natural Interaction. Thoughtbot. March 23, 2019.
The second is color. Color theory is a rabbit hole onto its own. We can use color for a variety of purposes: branding, imparting structure, evoking emotion. But we’ll focus on two takeaways from this space, the first is the concept of color wheel and scheme:
- Soegaard. Recalling Color Theory Keywords: a way to refresh your memories!. February 2020.
The second I’ll mention briefly and will expand on in class. While color can be a powerful extra “dimension” in how we represent data, we ought to recognize human limitations with respect to recognizing color.
- Because our color vision works in a subtractive model—our neurons subtract the signals from received from cones in our retinas—we are better able to discern contrasting colors and edges rather than absolute brightness.
- Our ability to distinguish colors is, itself limited and dependent on a variety of factors. For example, one of those factors is surface area: we have an easier time distinguishing between shades of color found in two large boxes versus two lines of text at 6-point font.
- There exists different forms of color blindness that affects significant proportions of the population. For example, from the Wikipedia, up to 8% of males of Northern European males are red-green color blind. As a result, we need to design with color accessibility in mind, account for different sorts of color-blindness, and whenever possible, not relying on color as a primary means of communicating information.