Exercise 3; Orientation Sensitivity, Proximity & Layering

Group Hearing

Proximity; The principle of proximity is one of several principles referred to as Gestalt principles of perception. Items of similar size, shape and color tend to be grouped together by the brain, and the relationship between the items is formed. Items in close proximity to or aligned with one another tend to be grouped in a similar way. For instance, notice how much easier it is to group and define the shape of the objects in the upper left than the lower right.

Layering; is one method in which designers organize information to make it easier for the reader to use. There are two main types of layering which are 2D Layering and 3D Layering.

2D Layering involves seperating the information so only one layer shows at a time. 2D Layering is sepreated into two varieties; Linear layers which can be used when there is a clear begining middle and end and Non-Linear layers. Non Linear layers include things such as; Paralle (Thesauras), Web (Hypertext) and Heirarchical (Organizing Chart).

3D Layering separates the layers so multiple layers can be viewed at one time. This is divided into Opaque Layers where all content is shown at once (Pop Up Windows) and Transparent Layers where information is overlayed to show different concepts (Roll Over Weather Maps).

Orientation Sensitivity is a visual phenomenon in which people process the orientation (direction) of lines at different speeds according to different factors. There are two major phenomena that contribute to this; oblique effect and pop out effect.

Oblique effect occurs because people can recognize horizontal and vertiacal lines quicker than oblique (random) lines. This is due to there being more stimuli that respond to vertical and horizontal lines than oblique lines.

Pop out effect is when certain elements are so different from the background it requires more stimuli to analyze the picture. As a general rule it is easiest to differentiate between lines when the angle changes by 30 degrees or more. This is most effective when combined with the oblique effect