Copyright by Jeff Johnson

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Chapter 3. We Seek and Use Visual Structure

Chapter 2 used the Gestalt principles of visual perception to show how our visual system is optimized to perceive structure. Perceiving structure in our environment helps us make sense of objects and events quickly. Chapter 2 also mentioned that when people are navigating through software or Web sites, they don’t scrutinize screens carefully and read every word. They scan quickly for relevant information. This chapter presents examples to show that when information is presented in a terse, structured way, it is easier for people to scan and understand.

Consider two presentations of the same information about an airline flight reservation. The first presentation is unstructured prose text; the second is ...

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