Rose Cox

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5 UX laws for creating user-friendly interfaces

Crafting user-friendly interfaces requires an understanding of human psychology and behavior. Designers must navigate several psychological principles to ensure intuitive navigation and seamless interactions. Here are 5 UX laws for creating intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces:

Hick’s Law

  • Principle: More options lead to confusion and longer task times.
  • Application: Simplify design to avoid overwhelming users.
  • Strategy:
    • Conduct user research to identify the most frequently accessed options.
    • Prioritize important options, and consolidate or remove less critical ones.
    • Implement alternative navigation patterns (e.g., predictive search, dynamic filtering).

Miller’s Law

  • Principle: Users can only process a limited amount of information at once.
  • Application: Manage cognitive load by simplifying interfaces.
  • Strategy:
    • Limit the number of elements to 7, plus or minus a few.
    • Use clear labels and concise descriptions.
    • Organize content hierarchically, using high-level categories to reduce information overload.

Fitt’s Law

  • Principle: The size and distance of a target affects how easy it is to interact with it.
  • Application: Optimize placement and size of interactive elements.
  • Strategy:
    • Position important interactive elements within easy reach.
    • Enlarge interactive targets to increase the area and reduce the effort needed to hit it.
    • Ensure primary actions (e.g., call-to-action buttons) are prominently displayed and easily accessible.

Jakob’s Law

  • Principle: Users expect interfaces to work similarly to those they have used before.
  • Application: Follow established design patterns to meet user expectations.
  • Strategy:
    • Adopt standardized and consistent design to enhance usability.
    • Prioritize functionality over novelty.
    • Place familiar elements in expected locations (e.g., close button on the upper right corner of the screen).

Law of Grouping

  • Principle: Users perceive objects near each other as organized patterns and groups, also known as Gestalt principles.
  • Application: Create relationships between objects with proximity, similarity, closure, continuity, and connectedness.
  • Strategy:
    • Add borders around elements to define a common region and create structure.
    • Create a common region by adding a background behind multiple elements.
    • Link elements together using similar colors, shapes, or other design patterns.
    • Use whitespace to separate different groups of elements.

By applying these UX laws, designers can create interfaces that are intuitive, efficient, and user-friendly. This approach ensures that design meet user needs and deliver seamless, enjoyable experiences that not only meet user needs but also exceed expectations.