Law of Proximity in User Experience (UX) Design

When designing a website, you might probably have tons of questions about what colors to use, how to organize elements, etc. Lucky for you, you don’t have to guess; you can utilize psychology to help you design a visually pleasing website.


The Gestalt laws describe how people perceive the objects in their environment. In user experience (UX) design, these laws are highly significant. They ensure that your visitors comprehend what they’re seeing, can quickly and easily find what they’re looking for, and take action.


Gestalt rules are a set of psychological principles founded on the idea that individuals have a natural tendency to detect patterns in their surroundings. This was a natural disposition of the human mind, according to psychologists Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Köhler, and Kurt Koffka. They developed a set of principles to explain how individuals organize and interpret visual information. Let’s take a look at the five major principles.

  • Proximity: The law of proximity asserts that objects put close together are perceived as a whole rather than individual pieces.
  • SImilarity: According to the law of similarity, when two objects look alike, they are seen as one object or as belonging to the same group.
  • Closure: People fill in missing information or gaps in order to see an item as a whole, according to the law of closure.
  • Continuity: The law of continuity defines how items with distinct appearances but similar alignments are viewed as a whole. For this to work, the eye must naturally go from one object to the next without anything interrupting the flow.
  • Figure-Ground: The figure-ground law defines how the human eye can distinguish between an object (or figure) and its surroundings (or ground).

One of the most popular laws, the law of proximity, is very important in UX design, so let’s discuss it a little further


The law of proximity is a Gestalt psychology principle that outlines how the human eye interprets elements that are close together as having a stronger relationship than those that are farther apart. The same idea applies even if the elements change in color, form, size, or other qualities.


It’s simple to use the law of proximity in UX design. All you have to do is group relevant elements together and separate unrelated elements. It’s crucial to use whitespace to organize or separate components. For example, labels should be positioned next to input fields in webforms so that the user knows they are related. When designing your website, it’s important to keep in mind that research and experiments have proven that proximity is more powerful than other features like shape or color. People will see elements as related if they are close together, even if other features are different.

The law of proximity is used often in web design, from navigation menus to webforms and everything in between. When you arrange related material together, it’s easier for visitors to absorb information and take action on your website.

At New Target, we design websites to please our clients and engage and delight their customers, members, and constituents nationwide. Our team delivers inspiring, intuitive website designs to promote brands and showcase the unique personalities, products, and services our clients have to offer. Contact us to learn more about our interactive design process!

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