Law of Proximity

Law of Proximity: Enhancing UX with Effective Grouping

The Law of Proximity is a principle of Gestalt psychology that states that objects that are close to each other tend to be perceived as a group. In UX design, applying the Law of Proximity helps create intuitive and organized interfaces by visually grouping related elements together.

What is the Law of Proximity?

The Law of Proximity suggests that elements placed close to each other are perceived as related or belonging to the same group. This principle is fundamental in design, as it influences how users interpret and interact with different parts of an interface. By leveraging this law, designers can guide users’ attention, improve navigation, and create more cohesive visual experiences.

Importance of the Law of Proximity in UX Design

  1. Improved Readability: Grouping related elements together enhances readability and makes it easier for users to process information.
  2. Enhanced Usability: Proximity helps users quickly identify related functions or content, improving overall usability and efficiency.
  3. Visual Hierarchy: Proper use of proximity creates a clear visual hierarchy, guiding users through the interface in a logical and intuitive manner.
  4. Aesthetic Appeal: Well-organized layouts using the Law of Proximity appear cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing, enhancing the overall user experience.

Key Principles of Applying the Law of Proximity

  1. Grouping Related Items: Place related items close together to form distinct groups. This could include grouping navigation links, form fields, or related content.
  2. Whitespace Management: Use whitespace effectively to separate unrelated elements. Adequate spacing between groups prevents clutter and confusion.
  3. Consistent Spacing: Maintain consistent spacing within groups and between different groups to create a balanced and organized layout.
  4. Alignment: Align elements within a group to create a sense of order and cohesiveness. Misaligned items can disrupt the perception of relatedness.
  5. Contextual Relevance: Ensure that elements grouped together are contextually related. Avoid placing unrelated items in close proximity to prevent misinterpretation.

Best Practices for Using the Law of Proximity in Design

  1. Form Design: Group related form fields together, such as personal information, address details, and payment information, to make the form easier to understand and complete.
  2. Navigation Menus: Arrange related navigation links in close proximity to help users quickly find and navigate through related sections.
  3. Content Layout: In articles or blogs, use proximity to group headings, subheadings, and related paragraphs together, enhancing readability.
  4. Buttons and Controls: Place related buttons and controls near each other, such as placing a “Submit” button near the form fields it applies to.
  5. Cards and Lists: Use card-based layouts or list groupings to visually separate different categories or types of content.

Tools for Implementing the Law of Proximity

  1. Design Software: Tools like Sketch, Figma, and Adobe XD provide features for precise spacing and alignment, helping designers implement proximity effectively.
  2. Grid Systems: Utilize grid systems to maintain consistent spacing and alignment across the interface, ensuring a cohesive layout.
  3. Wireframing Tools: Wireframing tools such as Axure RP and Balsamiq help designers plan the structure and grouping of elements early in the design process.

Real-World Examples

  1. Google Search Results: Google groups search results and related features, such as ads and suggested searches, close together, enhancing the user’s ability to find relevant information quickly.
  2. E-commerce Product Pages: Online stores like Amazon use proximity to group product images, descriptions, prices, and purchase buttons, making it easy for users to find all relevant information about a product.
  3. Social Media Feeds: Platforms like Facebook and Twitter group user posts, comments, and interaction buttons together, facilitating easy interaction and engagement.


The Law of Proximity is a powerful tool in UX design, helping to create intuitive, organized, and visually appealing interfaces. By understanding and applying this principle, designers can enhance usability, readability, and overall user experience, making interfaces more effective and enjoyable to use.

Ondrej Zoricak
Ondrej Zoricak