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UX Laws: 21 laws for creating better design (with examples)

Designing a great UX is like building a house and to support the house you need solid foundations and pillars, in the same manner these UX Laws act as a solid foundation for the user experience! These laws are deep dive into user psychology of using a product, same user psychology determines if the user will love your product or hate it.

By incorporating these laws you can make sure your product provide a better user experience, make sure you take the notes and download the resources provided at the end of the article.

Law of Proximity

This law is pretty popular in Graphic design and UX design realm,

Law of proximity states that if two or more elements are close to each other are related to each other then those who are from each other

Why is the law of Proximity helpful to UX designers?

The law of proximity help user establish the connection between two elements within a design

Makes the content easily scan-able by reducing clutter

How can the Law of proximity help UX designers –

The use of white-space in the design can establish the separation between the elements

taking the example of freepik header there is clear separation between asset category and Login/Sign up screen and pricing this establishes the clear separation between the two actions being unrelated two each other.

Hick’s Law

The time the user require to take a decision will increase with the number and complexity of choices.

In short the lesser the amount of choices the easier it gets for user to make the decision.

If you take an example of a local store vs an luxury store, the local store has overwhelming amount of choices but on the flip side the owners at the luxury store know that their target customer has very less time to spend on shopping for bag or shopping for a dress so they limit the options they give to their customer.

How can designers use Hick’s Law in UX design?

Making onboarding process easier and less overwhelming by breaking it into several steps.

While making the price tables make sure you give maximum 3 upfront choices so that the user does not get confused as to which one will work for him. To simplify this more mos websites now started showing recommended or Best for you strip on the plans that are best suited for them.

Jakob’s Law

Most of the users spend their time on other apps and they expect your app or website to work the same way as the other app or website. Well this happens because the user has already developed cognitive memory about the usage pattern of the app/website. By using the already existing patterns you can make user experience smooth, simply use users familiarity about the design or language or the pattern to your advantage. you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

How can designers use Hick’s Law in UX design?

Use commonly used patterns on your interface for example use toggles and drop-downs the same way the other platforms use. Use commonly used shapes like rectangles for buttons.

A good example of consistent design is how most I phone apps look, IOS has a set of guidelines for apps in order to be eligible to be published on the App store. This way Apple make sure the apps on the platform follow the same pattern as the system.

Law of Similarity

Law of similarity states that the elements who share the same property considered as a group, Object that visually identical are considered as related to each other. This law can help designers present a set of information in a similar manner to establish the similarity between the objects

Use of different shapes, colors, font size, font weight can help distinguish the objects and group the set of objects together A very good example of this law is how Spotify uses shapes to differentiate between Albums and artists

Spotify uses Circle for the artists and square for the albums and songs. A smart use of Law of similarity!

How can UX designers use Law of similarity –

Law of similarity can help UX designers establish the informational architecture of the design improving the ease of use and making the design more scannable.

Parkinson’s Law

Any provided task will take the given amount of time, no matter how small the task is.

“Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”

No matter how much time you have you will manage to spend all the available time on the given task, if you are given tight deadline then most probably you will try to complete the given task.

Parkinsons law can help you improve your productivity by setting imaginary deadlines.

While designing make sure your user will take the given time to complete the time, reduce the time it takes for user to complete the action. This way user will accomplish more in less time.

Postel’s Law

Be conservative in what you send, and liberal in what you accept. – Jon Postel

Postel’s Law in UX design –

Password straight suggestion

Username recommendation – when your desired username is already taken then Instagram suggests username variation that are close to your desired username.

Auto correct while search – Search engines automatically understand the typo and show the correct search results.

Doherty Threshold

Productivity soars when a computer and its users interact at a pace (<400ms) that ensures that neither has to wait on the other.

By Hrushikesh Paygavhan

UX designer at Customer Capital. With 7+ years of Design experience, I belive in passing the knowledge to everyone. I help UX designers upskill themselves, and stay updated in the design field.

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