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The 9 UX laws every designer needs to know

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If you’re working in user experience and want to take your career to the next level, it’s time to get acquainted with user experience laws. These principles and rules of thumb help us make better decisions when designing software, websites, or anything else that users will interact with. Understanding these 8 laws will give you a solid foundation for your UX career. They’ll also make you more marketable if you’re looking for a new job. Let’s dive in!

Law of Proximity

UX Law of Proximity

The law of proximity means that related items should be grouped together. This law plays a crucial role in organising information, such as the items on a menu or the content on a website. This law tells us to group related items together while keeping unrelated items apart. You’ve seen this law in action when you look at a menu and items are grouped together by price or category. You’ve also seen this principle in action when websites put related content next to each other, such as with related links or images. The law of proximity states that related items should be placed closer together than unrelated items. In other words, related links should be placed beside each other, while unrelated links should be placed further away.

Law of similarity

UX Law of similarity

The law of similarity is one of the most important principles in UX design. Simply put, it states that things that look similar tend to be perceived as related. This principle can be used to create a variety of UX effects, from increasing the usability of an interface to making a user feel more comfortable.One way to apply the law of similarity is to use similar colors for related elements in an interface. For example, if you want users to click on a button, you might make the button a different color than the rest of the interface. This will make the button stand out and increase the chances that users will notice it and click on it.Another way to apply the law of similarity is to use similar shapes for related elements. This can help create a sense of cohesion and visual stability in an interface. For example, if all the buttons in an interface are round, users will perceive them as being related and part of the same system. This can help reduce confusion and make the interface more user-friendly. The law of similarity is a powerful tool that every UX designer should be familiar with. By applying this principle, you can create interfaces that are more usable and visually appealing.

Hick's Law

UX Hick's Law

Hick's Law, also known as the principle of least effort, states that the more options a user has, the longer it will take them to make a decision. This simple concept can have a major impact on user experience. When faced with too many choices, users can become overwhelmed and may even give up entirely. That's why it's important for designers to carefully consider the number of options they present to users. Too few choices can lead to missed opportunities, but too many choices can lead to frustration and confusion. Striking the right balance is essential for creating an enjoyable and productive user experience.

Miller's Law

UX Miller's Law

Miller's Law states that the average person can only remember seven (plus or minus two) pieces of information at a given time. This law has important implications for the field of user experience, as it means that designers need to be aware of the limitations of human memory when creating interfaces. When designing an interface, it is important to keep the number of elements on each screen to a minimum, and to group related information together. This will help users to avoid becoming overwhelmed and will improve their ability to find and use the information they need. Additionally, designers should make use of features such as search and filtering to allow users to quickly locate specific items within a larger body of information.

Serial Position Effect

UX Serial Position Effect

The Serial Position Effect is a well-known phenomenon in psychology, which describes the way that people tend to remember items that are at the beginning or end of a list more than items in the middle. This effect also applies to UX design: users are more likely to remember elements that are prominently featured at the beginning or end of a user flow, and are less likely to notice or remember elements that are in the middle. This effect can be used to advantage in UX design by placing important elements at the beginning or end of a user flow, where they are more likely to be noticed and remembered. However, it's important to use this effect judiciously, as overwhelming users with too many elements at the beginning or end of a user flow can cause them to lose focus and become frustrated. When used thoughtfully, the Serial Position Effect can be a powerful tool for creating memorable and effective UX designs.

Aesthetic-Usability Effect

UX Aesthetic-Usability Effect

Most people are familiar with the term "aesthetics," which refers to the visual appearance of something. "Usability," on the other hand, refers to how easy something is to use. The Aesthetic-Usability Effect is the idea that objects that are more visually appealing are also perceived as being more usable. In other words, if something looks good, people will assume that it will be easy to use. The Aesthetic-Usability Effect is important to keep in mind in the field of UX design, as it can play a significant role in how users perceive and interact with a product or website. If a product or website has a high level of usability, it is more likely to be used and successful. Conversely, if a product or website has a low level of usability, it is less likely to be used and may even deter potential users from engaging with it. By keeping the Aesthetic-Usability Effect in mind, UX designers can create products and websites that are both visually appealing and easy to use, resulting in a positive user experience.

Pareto principle

UX Pareto Principle

The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, is a widely used concept in UX design. The principle states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In other words, a small number of factors have a large impact on overall results. The principle can be applied to many different areas of UX design, including user research, usability testing, and design iterations. For example, during user research, it's often more effective to interview a small number of users in-depth than to interview a large number of users superficially. Similarly, in usability testing, it's often more productive to test with a small number of users and iterate based on their feedback than to test with a large number of users and try to please everyone. By focusing on the 20% of factors that have the biggest impact, you can make your UX designs more effective and efficient.

Jakob’s law

UX Jakob’s law

As a UX designer, it's important to be aware of Jakob's law when creating new product experiences. This law states that users have the tendency to expect your product to work similarly or the same as other products they used in the past. As a result, it's important to take into account how users might expect your product to behave based on their past experiences. This includes considering both the positive and negative aspects of similar products. For example, if you're designing a new photo editing app, you'll want to consider both the features that users would expect to find (e.g., basic photo editing tools) as well as how your app might differ from others in order to create a unique experience. Keep Jakob's law in mind when designing your next product and you'll be sure to create an experience that meets user expectations.

Tesler’s law

UX Tesler’s law

Tesler's Law is an important guideline for anyone working in the ux/ui design. It states that every application has an inherent amount of complexity that cannot be removed or hidden. This means that designers need to accept the inherent complexity of their applications and work to make them as simple and straightforward as possible. One way to do this is to focus on the user's needs and goals, and design the interface around them. Another way to reduce complexity is to use progressive disclosure, which reveals only the information and controls that are needed at each step.

Bottom Line

User experience design is an incredibly diverse field that spans many different disciplines. It’s important to understand the basic principles and laws that govern each of these fields in order to become a great UX designer. The 9 laws outlined in this article will provide you with a solid foundation as you navigate your career. They’ll also make it easier to apply for new jobs and impress your current employer. Now that you understand these laws, make it a point to keep them in mind as you design. The better your designs align with these laws, the more successful they’ll be.

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