Google Figure-Ground Segregation

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Google and Gestalt Theory

Google is one of the most useful online tools. It is available to anyone who needs to look up a certain topic. In this approach, Google's information must be highly effective. This paper will be an examination tool based on Gestalt Theory, which focuses on the human mind. Google, like the human mind, holds a wealth of knowledge and hence fulfills the same function. In this sense, these six principles can also be used to the evaluation of Google's effectiveness and completeness as a search engine. From the perception of the theory too, in relation to Google, it has a requirement to create a unified whole. It may be in terms of its answers and images. Some of the topics should be able to relate to each other in order to create a whole and unified search engine. Using the six principles it will be clearer on how good and effective Google and the information that it provides to the learners are (Ghemawat, 2013). It will be a way to also pinpoint on the various writings and documents that are ineffective and dictate on the reasons why they are not effective at the same time being a way to recommend on how their effectiveness can be enhanced.

Figure-Ground Segregation

The first principle is on Figure-Ground segregation. This principle suggests that a figure is a kind of shape that is supposedly found at the front of any image. This figure is usually at all times surrounded by a homogenous background. Creation of a figure, therefore, must focus on distinguishing the required shape from the background for it to be sufficiently perceived as a figure. It is quite in hand with the works of Google. Most of its search results come in a balk color which is perceived to be above the white background for better and clearer distinction to the writings. As for the images, they come in different shapes depending on the search (Nevis, 2014). In an example, whenever there is an image search on any of the maps, there is a clear distinction between the different zones that are found in the specified region. As for the water bodies and rivers, they have a clear distinction of a blue color from the rest and for the vegetation, a green color that is eminent is used so that there can be a clear difference in the level of vegetation in the given places. In giving the boundaries of the specific regions that are in focus, a thin black line is used which easily distinguished from the rest of the images and colors that are found in the image. In this way, instances of a weak figure ground are minimal in Google. It creates a better competitive ability from some of its competitors who tend to have weaker figure-ground segregation since the people will at all times prefer texts that are well legible and understandable. Images that are well differentiated are also mostly chosen from those that cannot be understood and have a weak segregation.


The second principle of Gestalt is that of symmetry. According to this principle, symmetry refers to the direct perception in terms of the balance between the sizes, shapes and also the relative distances and position of the different parts of a particular side to its opposite side whenever they are separated by a dividing line. The use of symmetry brings in a sense of order to work on any type. Symmetry also brings in ease during the processing of the given information. It is because there will be a minimum level of confusion between the different elements that are found in the piece of work. In Google, the work of symmetry has been well undertaken as all the texts are aligned in a well-balanced manner. The use of the white space in between the line is in a regular pattern that has been continued throughout the whole text. As for the images that are found on Google, they are all enclosed within a similar boundary that is the same for all of the images. They are set under different scales so that they can be able to fit in the same space whether the images are big or small. It is the great method of ensuring uniform symmetry and order in the image work (Raymond, 2014). To avoid instances of becoming too perfect which may be considered to be proof of being too much of an amateur, they have been able to distinguish between the different images and writings with headings which are bold. The headings at the same time have been ensured to be in balance with each other too to also make the work look organized. The symmetrical rule however is not easily adhered to since it requires a full understanding of the document and creating a visually appealing document that is quite hard to produce.


The third principle involved the closure of certain areas. The closure involves enclosing some text or some of the images that tend to go together. These texts may be put together as the main points and make it easy to know where the information belongs to. In Google, the method of closure has been used quite well as the documents and information that is found on the same site tends to be put in the same link. For instance, in the search of different fruits, it will give the results of a couple of categories such as the pineapple or the apple fruit or the rest of the other kinds of fruits. Subsequently, the principle of closure will have been looked into as the resources which are related to each other are able to be put together for easier determination of what is required. For some of the information such as the information concerning data, there are different forms of closure that are used. Some use tables while in other cases charts and graphs are used in order to enclose a certain data that is required (Nevis, 2014). As a result, it becomes easier to be able to figure out the different data types and the different information that is enclosed in the tables, charts, and graphs. Bad closure results to unreadily break offs and visual begins and at most times fail to recognize on what is being relayed.


The principle of proximity follows which tends to suggest that all of the visual elements that are associated with each other should not be put close to each other. Putting these visual elements together tends to confuse the reader as they may be unable to distinguish between the two visual elements which will result in wrong information being received by the reader. This instance is well considered by Google. Whenever one searches for a particular subject, Google tends to separate the different headings by a brief description of what the reading on the bold link will entail. It will make sure that the reader selects the specific line or reading that is in accordance to what they are searching for. Besides, the images that are contained in the image section of Google are separated from each other by the different colors that they are given to make sure that there is clear distinction between the images (Raymond, 2014). On another case, there are the headings and the subheadings that accompany a certain article. Google covers this greatly by ensuring that they are a clear difference between the sizes of the heading text and there is the subheading text, therefore, creating quite a distant proximity of the visual elements.

Good Continuation

On the good continuation principle, it tends to describe the act of being equal and in human perception of things, a shape will always continue beyond its terminal point. If we see a part that is curved, the mind will always tend to see the image of a circle even if the image is not full. It will always tend to create the rest of the parts on its own. In Google, this perception has been taken into account as there is a good continuation of the work that is in the documents. All of the documents have a spruce which is the terminal point and end with where the specific works were obtained from. There is a proper flow of the information in a specific order such that there is no information that feels like has been left out. Leaving out of the information may result in a feeling of incompleteness within the work. In this case, Google uses vertical continuous lines to show the extenuation of the work so that they ensure that nothing is left behind.

Continuity on Similarity

On the final principle of continuity on similarity, units that seem to resemble each in terms of their shapes and the color that they are in should be set to be in the same homogenous unit. Whenever the units are being given, they should belong to the same category of grouping and not compared to those that are of another type of grouping. Mixed grouping of unit results to confusion and wrong conclusions. Comparisons should belong to the same unit of measurement and should be of the same commodity. For instance, coal market should not be compared to the vegetable market. Wrong conclusions will be made. Energy systems should be compared to other systems while food matters should be compared to other food matters. In Google, the different measurements are put together while different measurements are compared together in another group (Sarker, 2012). For instance, if it is in the comparison between energy, there is no instance that the energy will be compared to other measurements such as the measurement of the weight of the different raw materials that are used. Consequently, energy will be compared to the amount of energy production in the years that have passed.


To conclude, Google has therefore proven to be an effective search engine. It has obeyed all of the six gestalt principles and has at all-time kept its documents in a professional style. In this way, it is enough to recommend Google to any person. The engine will spread correct information and the information will be easy to understand.


Califf, C., Lin, X., & Sarker, S. (2012). Understanding energy informatics: A Gestalt-fit perspective. AMCIS 2012 Proceedings. Retrieved from

Dutot, V., Bergeron, F., & Raymond, L. (2014). Information management for the internationalization of SMEs: An exploratory study based on a strategic alignment perspective. International Journal of Information Management, 34(5), 672-681. Retrieved from

Ghemawat, S., Gobioff, H., & Leung, S.T. (2013). The Google file system. ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review, 37(5), 29-43). Retrieved from

Nevis, E.C. (2014). Gestalt therapy: Perspectives and applications. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.

June 06, 2023


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