In user experience (UX) design, we examine how the user interacts with a digital product in terms of its usability, accessibility, and desirability. To that end, designers need to be able to anticipate the user’s needs and expectations. By using the laws of UX, designers can develop a deeper understanding of user behaviors and create more meaningful products.

Backed by various psychological principles and studies, a set of laws have been established in user experience design which can be leveraged to build better products. While we won’t go over the complete list, here are a few of the basic laws of UX that designers can refer back to throughout the creative process. 

Law of Aesthetics

We are often advised not to “judge a book by its cover.” However, this doesn’t always pan out in practice.

As the name suggests, the law of aesthetics states that users often perceive aesthetically pleasing designs as more usable. In other words, a good-looking design leads people to believe that the design actually works better. This ends up making minor usability issues more tolerable as a result.

That being said, designers should not sacrifice usability in pursuit of superior aesthetics. It is just good to be aware of what users find visually appealing.

Fitt’s Law

One of the most important laws of UX, yet Fitt’s law is frequently overlooked in web design. It states that the time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and see of the target. 

The term is better explained by examples. It means that things like buttons or other call-to-actions should be large enough for users to discern and allow them to accurately select them.

Hick’s Law

Hick’s Law explains how the time it takes to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of choices. Obviously, you don’t want to create an interface that causes users to get frustrated or confused. With that in mind, designers should be sure to simplify choices for the user and break things down into smaller, more manageable tasks. 

Ultimately, you want to avoid overwhelming the user. To do this, designers should highlight the areas and actions in order to direct the user’s attention. 

Jakob’s Law

As web designers are undoubtedly aware, users spend a significant amount of time online. And of course, those users are not spending that time solely on one site. Jakob’s Law takes this consideration a step further. It emphasizes that because of this fact, users prefer your site to work the same way as any other.

Because they spend a lot of time online, users have established a set of expectations when they visit a site. Therefore you don’t want to build a site that is counterintuitive to those expectations. Designers should therefore keep those familiar elements and functionalities in mind as they develop the interface. 

These are just a few examples of the laws of UX. There are several others which are equally as significant. The end goal is to create a digital product that resonates with users. While adhering to all the UX standards and principles won’t necessarily guarantee success, they offer a good starting point for the design process.