10 laws of UX

Using psychology to design better products & services

1. Jakob’s Law

2. Fitts’ Law

  1. Be large enough that users can easily discern them and accurately select them
  2. Have ample space between them
  3. Be placed in areas of the interface that allow them to be easily acquired

3. Hick’s Law

  1. Minimize choices when response times are critical to increasing decision time
  2. Break tasks into smaller steps to decrease the cognitive load
  3. Simplifying an interface or process helps to reduce the cognitive load for users and increases the likelihood that they’ll complete their tasks and achieve their goals
  4. Be careful not to simplify to the point of abstraction. Make sure to add contextual clues to help users identify the options available and determine the relevance of the information available to the tasks they wish to perform

4. Miller’s Law

  1. Organize content into smaller chunks to help users process, understand and memorize easily
  2. Remember that short-time memory will vary per individual, based on their prior knowledge and situational context

5. Postel’s Law

  1. Humans and computers communicate and process information differently. It is the responsibility of design to bridge the communication gap
  2. The more we can anticipate and plan for in the design, the more resilient the design will be
  3. Accept variable input from users, translating that input to meet your requirements, defining boundaries for input, and providing clear feedback to the user
  4. Be empathic to, flexible about, and tolerant of the various actions the user could take or any input they might provide

6. Peak-End Rule

  1. Pay close attention to the most intense points and the final moments (the “end”) of the user journey
  2. Identify the moments when your product is most helpful, valuable, or entertaining and design to delight the end-user
  3. Remember that people recall negative experiences more vividly than positive ones

7. Aesthetic-Usability Effect

  1. An aesthetically pleasing design creates a positive response in people’s brains and leads them to believe the design actually works better
  2. People are more tolerant of minor usability issues when the design of a product or service is aesthetically pleasing
  3. Visually pleasing design can mask usability problems and prevent issues from being discovered during usability testing

8.von Restorff Effect

  1. Make important information or key actions visually distinctive
  2. Use restraint when placing emphasis on visual elements to avoid them competing with one another and to ensure salient items don’t get mistakenly identified as ads
  3. Don’t exclude those with a colour vision deficiency or low vision by relying exclusively on colour to communicate contrast
  4. Carefully consider users with motion sensitivity when using motion to communicate contrast

9. Tesler’s Law

  1. All processes have a core complexity that cannot be designed away, and therefore must be assumed by either the system or the user
  2. Ensure you lift as much of the burden as possible as much as possible from users by dealing with inherent complexity during design and development
  3. Take care not to simplify interfaces to the point of abstraction

10. Doherty Threshold

  • It reassures people that their action is being processed
  • It provides visual interest while waiting
  • It reduces the perception of waiting by shifting the focus to the animation of the progress bar instead of the actual process of waiting
  • the change might be completely missed by the user
  • it might be difficult for the user to comprehend what happened, since the speed of the change does not allow sufficient time for mental processing
  1. Provide system feedback within 400ms to keep users’ attention and increase productivity
  2. Use perceived performance to improve response time and reduce the perception of waiting
  3. Animation is one way to visually engage people while loading or processing is happening in the background
  4. Progress bars help make waiting more tolerable, regardless of their accuracy
  5. Purposely adding a delay to a process cab actually increase its perceived value and instil a sense of truth, even when the process itself actually takes much less time



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Andra Cimpan

User Experience Engineer that creates digital products 👩‍💻 with knowledge and passion💖 https://znap.link/andraardna