UX design is a vast field that combines psychology, information architecture, interaction design and many other disciplines. UX laws are the principles and best practices designers adhere to in order to create effective user interfaces. In this article we will discuss 21 UX laws used by the most successful designers.
The purpose of this article is to serve as a resource you can reference when brainstorming architecture or design. Try to stay within the confines of the below laws.
Law #1: Occam’s Razor
Occam’s razor is a principle which states that when you have two competing theories or explanations, the simpler one is usually correct. UX designers use this law in their work to find simple solutions for complex problems. It can be used with wireframes and prototypes as well by constantly asking oneself “is there an easier way?”
Law #2: Law of Proximity
UX designers use Law of Proximity to guide users through the information architecture. It is based on the research that suggests people are more likely to group objects together if they are near each other, rather than being divided by time or space. UX designers use this law when designing the user flow.
Law #3: The Welder’s Flange
The welder’s flange is a UX principle which states that the most prominent action in an interface should be repeated on every page. This UX law helps users to orient themselves and build muscle memory for using certain functions of your application or website.
Law #4: KISS
UX designers use the KISS principle in order to create products that are easy and simple to use. Customers want their experience with a product or service to be effortless, without complicated steps and confusing jargon. By keeping your design elements minimal you will remove any barriers between users and getting things done easily.
Law #5: The UX Honeycomb
The UX honeycomb is a UX principle which states that the more task-focused your product, the higher chance there will be of people using it. UX designers use this principle when designing different product types, such as e-commerce sites that need to help users find an item quickly and get on with their lives.
Law #6: Fitts’ Law of Data Input
Fitt’s law of data input is a UX design principle which states that the time required to move to a target area is a function of the distance and size of the object. UX designers use this principle when designing forms, especially ones with many fields such as sign-up pages or checkout processes.
Law #7: The Power of Ten
The power of ten UX law states that people can only remember about nine things at any given time, including seven plus or minus two items. UXers use this UX design principle to create simple user journeys by focusing on a single action within each page instead of distracting users with multiple options.
Law #8: Pareto Principle
The UX Pareto Principle states that 20% of the users will use 80% of your features. UX designers rely on this UX design law when designing products by prioritizing key actions and functions, so they can reach an extensive audience with limited resources.
Law #9: Peak-End Rule
The UX peak-end rule states that people tend to remember the best and worst parts of an experience. UX designers use this UX law when designing products, by applying both positive and negative emotions in order to leave a long lasting impression on their customers.
Law #10: Hick’s Law
Hick’s law is a UX design principle which states that the time required for an individual to make a choice increases as the number of choices increase. This UX design law can be used when designing products such as shopping carts where there are many different variables involved so customers need more time to consider their purchase decisions before proceeding with checkout. Fewer choices mean quicker decisions.
Law #11: Law of Two Buttons
UXers follow the two button UX design principle which states that any action requires making at least two choices (e.g., yes/no) or visiting more than one page (e.g., buying airplane tickets). This UX law helps users avoid mistakes while using your product or service by guiding them through simple tasks with multiple steps along the way.
Law #12: The Hierarchy Principle
When creating user flows, UX designers rely on the UX hierarchy principle which states that users will assume elements on a page are of higher importance if they appear to be closer (e.g., sidebar vs footer). This UX design law can help UXers create clear and clean interfaces by making sure important information is more visible than other less relevant content.
Law #13: Von Restorff Effect
The UX Von Restorff effect states that items which stand out will be more likely to be remembered. UX designers use this UX law when designing user flows and the layout of a page, by creating contrast between product elements (e.g., different shapes or colors) in order to strengthen their overall brand identity and make it easier for users to remember.
Law #14: Tesler’s Law
Tesler’s UX law states that the more users perform an action, the less they will want to do it again in future. UX designers use this UX design principle when designing products and services by making sure actions are as simple as possible but not simpler (overly simplified) so customers can easily learn how to use them without being overwhelmed with options.
Law #15: The Rule of Thirds
UX law states that people remember information more easily when it’s divided into three sections. UX designers use this UX design principle to make their products easier to understand by dividing information into different categories (e.g., blog posts on the home page) with headers and footers in order for users to better understand how to use them.
Law #16: Parkinson’s Law
Parkinson’s UX law states that people will give more time to tasks as they increase in complexity. UX designers use this UX design principle when designing products and services by making sure actions are as simple as possible but not simpler (overly simplified) so customers can easily learn how to use them without being overwhelmed with options.
Law #17: Similarity Principle
UXers use the UX similarity principle when designing products and services by creating a sense of familiarity to make customers feel more comfortable using them. UX designers do this by making sure similar items have the same visual appearance, shape or color so they don’t look out of place alongside other elements on your website or app.
Law #18: More Is Better
More is better UX law states that people prefer more choices rather than limiting their options. UX designers apply this UX design principle in order to avoid placing too many restrictions on users because it can be overwhelming for customers who want full control over what features are available while also ensuring there’s enough content to help improve conversions. Be wary though, too many options can also cause confusion. This is why A/B testing the number of options is equally important.
Law #19: Relativity Principle
The relativity UX design law states that things that are relative to each other should be presented next to one another. UX designers use this UX design principle when designing products and services by making sure important information is more visible than other less relevant content (e.g., placing your phone number on the top right corner of a page).
Law #20: Law of Common Region
The UX law of common region states that users perceive objects as belonging together if they are located within the same visual field. UX designers use this UX design principle when designing products and services by making sure important information is more visible than other less relevant content (e.g., placing your phone number on the top right corner of a page).
Law #21: Aesthetic-Usability Effect
This principle states that aesthetically pleasing UX is perceived as more usable. UX designers use this UX law when designing products and services with the mindset of creating something people will like using because it appeals to their senses (e.g., bright colors, clean fonts) which makes users feel good about interacting with your product or website.
There are many more laws that can be followed to find success as a UX designer. Do you have any faves that we may not have covered? Comment and let us know below!