Do you want to create a more engaging and memorable experience for your website visitors? Want to learn the basic UX principles to guide your website design project?
UX Collective share the UX design laws and principles you should follow in this infographic.
They break things down as follows:
- UX Psychology
- UX Heuristics
- UX Laws
Check out the infographic for more detail.
Creating an engaging user experience (UX) can make or break your product or service.
With too many websites focusing on flashy design and not enough on the value they deliver to their visitors, it’s important to follow certain laws and principles when creating your website’s UX so that you’re delivering the most value possible to your users with each visit.
In this article, we discuss laws of UX design that every website should adhere to in order to have the most optimal impact on their visitors.
Hick’s Law states that the time it takes to make a decision is based on how many options are available. Hick’s Law is used in UX design to determine how many options are presented on one page at any given time, thus making users feel overwhelmed with so many choices.
For example, when picking a desktop computer online, too many options can distract users from making any selection at all.
Similarly, if a user knows what they want and there aren’t enough options to choose from, they may become frustrated because of what seems like an unnecessary step to find their perfect choice.
For every website or application you develop, keep Hick’s Law in mind as you consider creating options for your users.
Jakob Nielsen is a computer scientist and usability engineer who is widely considered to be a pioneer in user experience. In 2000, he formulated what came to be known as Jakob’s Law of UX design, which states that users tend to spend most of their time on other websites.
As such, your website must be similar to (or better than) these websites in order for visitors to prefer yours over them.
This essentially means that it’s important for you to learn about similar sites in your industry or vertical so you can see where they are lacking—and how you can step up your game accordingly.
This principle of design explains that, among all possible solutions to a problem, one should always choose that which is both simple and straightforward. It also states that things should be kept as simple as possible, but no simpler.
And while some might argue that there are no absolutes in web design (and it’s true; what you consider simple may not be considered so by others), one thing everyone can agree on is that complex websites are often more difficult to navigate than their simpler counterparts.
The 80/20 rule, also known as Pareto’s law or the law of unequal effect, states that 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. In terms of web design, that means that 80% of website success comes from just 20% of its total features.
For any feature you add to your website, take a moment to think critically about whether it is truly necessary and what benefit it will provide for users. Otherwise you risk bloating your site with unnecessary clutter—and doing more harm than good for user experience.
Tesler’s Law, also known as The law of conservation of complexity, states that for any system there is a certain level of complexity that cannot be reduced.
Anything below or equal to that threshold will feel simple and effortless. Anything above it will feel cumbersome and slow to operate.
This means you can never simplify something down to zero-complexity, but you can approach it from all different angles. You have to find ways to reduce friction at each stage without removing what makes your product unique from other products in its field.
Von Restorff Effect
The Von Restorff effect is a phenomenon that shows an item that sticks out is more likely to be remembered. You can use distinctiveness in your favour when designing a website by adding a sticker or separator so users can quickly find it.
Keep in mind, however, that too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing. It should be visible enough for users to notice but not annoying enough to cause eye strain.
For example, if you have an ecommerce store selling t-shirts with different colours and sizes, make sure your most popular t-shirt stands out on the site.
Consider putting it at top left or above features like size charts. With t-shirts, you might create two layouts – one without noticeable design elements and another with bold labels highlighting each product.
In psychology, it’s been proven that if someone is interrupted from doing a task they have a tendency to return to it later in order to complete it. Make use of how your mind works by reminding users why they were interested in a page.
If you throw something at them with lots of information, or an action they need to take, remind them why they wanted that information or what benefits taking that action will have for them.
Give people opportunities to re-engage throughout their experience with your site; don’t make them wait until they leave before throwing another opportunity at them.
This reminds visitors of their original goal and gives you another chance to be front-of-mind when they do come back around again.
Miller’s Law is a psychological principle discovered by George A. Miller, a cognitive psychologist at Princeton University. This law states that the number of items a person can hold in working memory is seven plus or minus two items.
If you were to give someone five files to store away in their head, they could remember only three of them unless they really tried to keep all five distinct from one another. If you gave them six files, then just four would be able to be stored away.
Serial Position Effect
In a supermarket, your eyes are often drawn to the first and last items on a shelf. Studies have shown that people also pay more attention to news they see at either end of a newspaper or magazine page, as well as online headlines.
This is known as serial position effect—the tendency for viewers to place more importance on an object simply because it’s first or last in a list of objects.
Keep these findings in mind when you consider where to put important information on your website. You might want to include an FAQ section or other useful information at the bottom of every page; visitors scanning down will be more likely to notice what you’ve put there.