Beyond Intuition: The Laws That Guide Exceptional User Experience Part-I

UX laws help enhance user experience by providing designers with fundamental principles and guidelines rooted in human psychology and behavior.

They provide a framework for designing interfaces that align with human cognitive abilities, visual perception, and behavioral patterns. By following these principles, designers can create interfaces that are intuitive, efficient, aesthetically pleasing, and ultimately enhance the overall user experience.

Hick’s Law: Choices should be simple, limited and easy to understand.

What if you ever give up on your hunger because you can’t decide your food preferences as the list is too big and the choices are exorbitant and this results in the delayed ordering or not ordering at all?

This law states that the more choices, the more time it takes by a person to make a decision. It emphasizes the importance of keeping choices and navigation options simple and focused.

Fitts’s Law: Make Touch Targets bigger and clear.

This law gives the relation between the time required by a pointer to move to a target area(digital or physical button) in order to interact by clicking, tapping or hovering. 

It simply states that-

  • The bigger the target, lesser the time taken by the user to interact with.
  • The larger the distance to the target, more time will be acquired to reach the target i.e., closer targets are better.

It highlights the need for larger and more easily clickable/tappable targets to improve user interactions.

Jakob’s Law: Familiar patterns are always welcomed.

This law states that users spend most of their time on other websites, and as a result, they expect your website to work similarly to the ones they are already familiar with. It emphasizes the importance of adhering to established design patterns and conventions.

For example, most of the e-commerce sites have the same design pattern or have the references to one another like Image of the Product at the top, followed by its Prize, Product description, Size (if required), Add to Cart, Wishlist and Buy Now, etc.

Miller’s Law: 7 is the magic number.

This law suggests that the average person can only keep about seven (plus or minus two) items in their working memory. This is why menus and navigation(more or less) in any web page are based on this size.

It emphasizes the need for simplicity, chunking information, and breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable steps.

However, our short-term memory users will find it difficult to recall the items if more than 7 items are present in any lists or menus. This law helps the designer to present and organize the data in a concise manner that can help the user easy to remember and understand.

Law of Similarity: Similar shapes are considered connected, even though they are placed separately.

This law states that objects that share similar visual attributes (such as shape, color, or size) are perceived as related. It suggests that visual consistency and grouping similar elements can aid in conveying information and organizing content.

Make sure we use same style of font for each section of web page whether it is Call to Actions buttons or any text field.

Pareto Principle (or 80/20 Rule): 80% of the outcomes comes from 20% of the causes.

This principle states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. We can prioritize the task, top 20% of the task will require our main attention which is used by our 80% of users most of the time. Applied to UX, it means that a significant portion of user satisfaction can be achieved by addressing a small number of key usability issues.

These laws and principles provide valuable guidance for designing user-friendly interfaces and improving overall usability. However, it’s important to note that they should be considered as guidelines and not strict rules, as each design context may require some adaptation and customization.

By leveraging UX Laws, we can simplify complex interaction and establish consistent patterns that help the users to understand the product readily and navigate easily. Ultimately, these laws provide a foundation of delightful, aesthetically pleasing and effective user experiences that meet the expectations of the users across the digital platform.

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