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Foundational Laws of UX – part 1

28 januari, 2021

There is a set of rules that must be applied to digital products: the foundational laws of UX that define how people perceive and interact with applications.

Over the years, MI has applied them in practice by producing digital products that adhered to these set of design laws and that helped in providing a sound experience for users.

 

Von Restorff Effect

Principle

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.

 

Key Points

1. Make important information or key actions visually distinctive.

2.Use restraint when placing emphasis on visual elements to avoid them competing with one another and to ensure salient items don’t get mistakenly identified as ads.

3. Don’t exclude those with a color vision deficiency or low vision by relying exclusively on color to communicate contrast.

4. Carefully consider users with motion sensitivity when using motion to communicate contrast.

 

 

 

Miller’s Law

Principle

The average person can only keep 7 (plus or minus 2) items in their working memory.

 

Key Points

1. Don’t use the “magical number seven” to justify unnecessary design limitations.

2.Organize content into smaller chunks to help users process, understand, and memorize easily.

3. Remember that short-term memory capacity will vary per individual, based on their prior knowledge and situational context.

 

 

 

Law of Proximity

Principle

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

 

Key Points

1. Proximity helps to establish a relationship with nearby objects.

2. Proximity helps users understand and organize information faster and more efficiently.

 

 

 

Hick’s Law

Principle

The time it takes to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of choices.

 

Key Points

1. Minimize choices when response times are critical to increase decision time.

2. Break complex tasks into smaller steps in order to decrease cognitive load.

3. Avoid overwhelming users by highlighting recommended options.

4. Use progressive onboarding to minimize cognitive load for new users.

5. Be careful not to simplify to the point of abstraction.

 

 

 

 

Alvin Pangan

Design Lead at Mobile Interaction

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