12 Laws of UX: Designing with Principles for User Delight

Laws of UX

The "Laws of UX" refer to a set of principles and guidelines that designers can follow to create user interfaces (UI) and experiences (UX) that are effective, intuitive, and user-friendly. These laws are not strict rules but rather general principles that help designers understand and address user needs. Some of the prominent laws of UX include:

1. Hick's Law

This law states that the time it takes to make a decision increases with the number of choices available. Designers should aim to simplify choices and reduce cognitive load for users.

2. Fitts's Law

This law relates to the time it takes to move to a target area, such as a button or link, and is influenced by the size and distance of the target. Designers should make interactive elements larger and position them in easily accessible areas.

3. Law of Proximity

Elements that are close to each other are perceived as related. Designers use this law to group related items together, making interfaces more organized and intuitive.

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4. Law of Similarity

Similar elements are perceived as related. Designers use this law to create visual consistency and convey information hierarchy by employing similar colors, shapes, or styles for related elements.

5. Miller's Law

This law suggests that the average person can only keep 7 (plus or minus 2) items in their working memory at once. Designers should consider this limit when presenting information, organizing content, and creating navigation structures.

6. Zeigarnik Effect

This psychological principle states that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks. Designers can use this to encourage user engagement and completion of tasks.

7. Gestalt Principles

These principles, including proximity, similarity, continuity, closure, and figure-ground, explain how humans perceive and organize visual information. Designers use these principles to create cohesive and meaningful visual experiences.

8. Jakob's Law

Users are more comfortable with interfaces that follow familiar design patterns. Jakob's Law emphasizes the importance of aligning with user expectations to enhance usability.

9. Aesthetic-Usability Effect

This principle suggests that users perceive more aesthetically pleasing designs as more usable. While aesthetics alone are not enough, a visually appealing design can positively influence the user's perception of usability.

10. Fogg Behavior Model

Developed by behavior scientist BJ Fogg, this model states that behavior (B) occurs when motivation (M), ability (A), and triggers (T) converge. Designers can use this model to understand and influence user behavior.

11. Kano Model

Classify features into basic, performance, and delight factors to understand user satisfaction and prioritize design decisions accordingly.

12. Golden Ratio

Apply the golden ratio in layout and visual design to achieve aesthetically pleasing proportions.

These laws are not exhaustive, and different designers may emphasize different principles based on the context of their projects. Additionally, the field of UX design is dynamic, and new insights may lead to the evolution or addition of principles over time. These principles and laws are foundational to the UX design process, and designers often adapt and combine them based on the specific context of their projects and user needs. UX is an evolving field, and staying informed about emerging trends and insights is crucial for creating successful user experiences.

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