UX, you’ve likely heard the term before, it’s nothing new. In fact, the idea of UX and UX designers has been around for over 50 years! This is a great timeline to show the evolution of the idea of UX design. In 1966 Walt Disney became what is thought to be, the first UX designer. When creating Disney World, he created a fully immersive experience in a near flawless way.
Since then UX design has crept in to nearly every product or service on the market. There are many laws of UX design, but today we are going to focus in on 3 of the most important ones related to website design.
Hick’s Law of UX Design
The first law of UX, Hick’s Law “The time it takes to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of choices” is perhaps the most important one.
We constantly see websites that try to cater to every user. These websites cram as many links and information they can into every area of the screen. This causes users to become overwhelmed by the amount of decisions and in some cases can make users decide to leave your site without making a decision.
Let’s take this example, Lings Cars there is so much going on and so many links that users are not going to know what they should do or where they should go next. Compare that with Groove Car, this site makes it so easy and clear what needs to be done next. You can see the Groove Car website makes great use of white space, elements are not crammed into the page and the eye easily flows down the page.
Jackob’s Law of UX Design
The next law is Jakob’s Law “Users spend most of their time on other sites. This means that users prefer your site to work the same way as all the other sites they already know”.
When creating a website, it’s crucial to remember this UX law. We get it, you want your website to stand out. But you need to stand out in ways that don’t confuse users. For instance, on mobile, hamburger icons are the standard and creating a new icon for the menu on mobile would confuse users. The main elements that are normally consistent across all websites should also be consistent on your website.
Aesthetic Usability Effect
The final law is Aesthetic Usability Effect “Users often perceive aesthetically pleasing design as design that’s more usable.”
Think about this, Apple wasn’t the first to create an MP3 player. But they were the first to really consider design and functionality. By doing so, they created an iconic product the iPod.
The goal with any website design or redesign is to please users and help them accomplish the task they came to the website for. Creating a site that tries to yell everything all at once to the customers can damage your perceived usability. To create the best possible usability, there should be a visual hierarchy of elements. Headlines, text and images should all be sized appropriately. Doing this will help users understand the flow of the page and where to look next. If you can arrange content in a way that is visually pleasing users will return to your site.
There are many more Laws of UX to consider. Not all have to be followed and in some instances some of the laws can be broken to help your website stand out. But these are a few that I find to be imperative to a website’s success. Consumers are more informed now than ever before. They expect websites to be easy to use and if they can’t find the information they need they have no problem moving on to something better.