Remember when you held your palm over a candle’s flame and started feeling the burn or when you drank hot coffee too fast that you burned your mouth?
The “laws of UX” are similar; there are cause and effect relationships where one event (the cause) makes another event happen (the effect). Whether a designer acknowledges them or not, the laws will affect the effectiveness of a design. These laws can determine some crucial heuristic flaws in your design.
User Experience is how the user interacts with your product through usability, accessibility, and desirability. But sometimes your design can be unfruitful because of certain laws of UX that you didn’t follow.
Here are the top 7 laws you need to follow for an efficient product.

Von Restorff Effect

The Von Restorff effect, also known as The Isolation Effect, predicts that when multiple similar objects are present, the one that differs from the rest is most likely to be remembered. In design, you can make that important information or key actions more distinctive than others.

Key Takeaways

Make important information or key actions visually distinctive.

Hick’s Law

The time it takes to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of choices.
For example, too many choices might take the user a long time to choose. So try to simplify these things out, try not to make overwhelming users by highlighting the recommended options. Additionally, use progressive onboarding to minimize cognitive load.
To simplify, apply the KISS principle (Keep it Simple, Stupid).

Key Takeaways

  1. Simplify choices for the user by breaking down complex tasks into smaller steps.
  2. Avoid overwhelming users by highlighting the recommended options.
  3. Use progressive onboarding to minimize cognitive load for new users.

Fitts’s Law

Fitt’s Law is like Hick’s Law but it measures how long the target will take to acquire based on its distance and size of the target. You can shorten the time by making it huge enough and placed on the bottom to make it easy to reach.

Key Takeaways

  1. Touch targets should be large enough for users to both discern what it is and to accurately select them.
  2. Touch targets should have ample spacing between each other.
  3. Touch targets should be placed in areas of an interface that allows them to be easily acquired.

Zeigarnik Effect

The Zeigarnik effect states that incomplete or interrupted tasks are most likely to be remembered. You could help the users remember certain uncompleted tasks by adding a simple progress bar.

Key Takeaways

Use progress bars for complex tasks to visually indicate when a task is incomplete, and thus increase the likelihood it will be completed.

Serial Position Effect

This effect states that the first and the last terms are most likely remembered. Placing the least important items in the middle of the list and the key information on the first and last series is a good rule of thumb.

Key Takeaways

  1. Placing the least important items in the middle of lists can be helpful because these items tend to be stored less frequently in long-term and working memory.
  2. Positioning key actions on the far left and right within elements such as navigation can increase memorization.

Law of Common Region

Elements tend to be perceived into groups if they are sharing an area with a clearly defined boundary.

Key Takeaways

  1. Adding a border around an element or group of elements is an easy way to create a common region.
  2. Common region can be created by defining a background behind an element or group of elements.

Law of Proximity

Objects that are near or proximate tend to be grouped together.

Key Takeaways

  1. Proximity helps to establish a relationship with nearby objects.
  2. Proximity helps users understand and organize information faster and more efficiently.

These laws can surely enable us to create better products not only based on aesthetics but also maintaining a good user experience for the users.


Laws of UX by Jon Yablonski

Check out our other blog for UX – Usability: The cornerstone of UX Design Thanks for reading!