Law of Similarity

Law of Similarity: Enhancing User Experience with Visual Consistency

The Law of Similarity is one of the key principles of Gestalt psychology, which states that elements that are visually similar are perceived as part of the same group. This principle is instrumental in UX design, helping create intuitive, organized, and aesthetically pleasing interfaces.

What is the Law of Similarity?

The Law of Similarity suggests that elements sharing similar visual characteristics, such as shape, color, size, or texture, are perceived as related or belonging to the same group. This principle helps users quickly identify and process groups of related information, enhancing their ability to navigate and interact with an interface.

Importance of the Law of Similarity in UX Design

  1. Improved Usability: By visually grouping similar elements, users can more easily understand and navigate the interface, improving overall usability.
  2. Enhanced Readability: Similarity helps in organizing content in a way that makes it easier for users to read and comprehend information quickly.
  3. Visual Hierarchy: Establishing a visual hierarchy through similarity guides users’ attention to related content and features, facilitating smoother interactions.
  4. Aesthetic Appeal: Consistent use of visual elements creates a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing design, enhancing the overall user experience.

Key Principles of Applying the Law of Similarity

  1. Consistent Design Elements: Use consistent design elements for related items. This includes consistent use of colors, shapes, sizes, and fonts for elements that belong to the same category or perform similar functions.
  2. Color Coding: Apply the same colors to elements that are related or functionally similar, helping users quickly identify groups of related content.
  3. Typography: Use consistent typography for headings, subheadings, body text, and other text elements to establish a clear visual hierarchy.
  4. Icons and Imagery: Use similar styles for icons and images to create visual consistency and enhance the understanding of related content.
  5. Spacing and Alignment: Maintain consistent spacing and alignment for related groups of elements to strengthen the perception of similarity and grouping.

Best Practices for Using the Law of Similarity in Design

  1. Navigation Menus: Use consistent styling for navigation links to help users recognize menu items and understand the structure of the site.
  2. Button Design: Design buttons that perform similar actions with the same colors, shapes, and sizes to make the interface more intuitive.
  3. Forms: Apply consistent styling to form fields, labels, and buttons to create a coherent and easy-to-use form layout.
  4. Content Grouping: Group related content sections with similar backgrounds or border styles to visually separate them from unrelated sections.
  5. Icon Sets: Use icon sets with a uniform style to maintain visual consistency and make the interface more aesthetically pleasing.

Tools for Implementing the Law of Similarity

  1. Design Software: Tools like Adobe XD, Figma, and Sketch allow for precise control over design elements, helping ensure visual consistency.
  2. Style Guides: Develop and use style guides to document the visual standards for your design, ensuring consistency across all elements.
  3. Component Libraries: Utilize component libraries within design systems to maintain consistent styles and behaviors across different parts of the application.
  4. CSS Frameworks: CSS frameworks like Bootstrap and Materialize provide predefined styles that help maintain consistency in web design.

Real-World Examples

  1. Google Workspace: Google uses consistent design elements across its suite of products, such as Gmail, Docs, and Sheets, creating a unified experience through similar icons, colors, and layouts.
  2. Apple’s iOS: iOS applications use consistent design patterns, typography, and iconography, ensuring a seamless and intuitive user experience across different apps.
  3. E-commerce Websites: Sites like Amazon use similar styles for product listings, reviews, and buttons, helping users quickly identify and interact with elements.
  4. Social Media Platforms: Platforms like Facebook and Twitter maintain consistent styling for posts, comments, and interaction buttons, enhancing usability and familiarity.


The Law of Similarity is a fundamental principle in UX design that helps create intuitive, organized, and visually appealing interfaces. By applying this principle, designers can enhance usability, readability, and user satisfaction, ensuring that related elements are easily recognized and understood.

Ondrej Zoricak
Ondrej Zoricak