Web Design | 23rd July 2019 By

What is Hick’s Law?

Understanding the Hick-Hyman Law

Simply put, the Hick-Hyman Law states that the time required to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of choices. It’s a principle that’s deeply rooted in cognitive psychology.

The Connection to KISS

Hick’s Law aligns well with the KISS principle (“Keep It Simple, Stupid”). Both aim to minimize cognitive load, which is essentially the mental effort required to process information.

Managing Cognitive Load

As experts in the field, we can leverage the Hick-Hyman Law to optimize user experience. By reducing the number of choices and breaking down complex tasks, we make it easier for users to make decisions, thereby reducing cognitive load.

When to Apply Hick’s Law

This principle is especially useful in scenarios where quick decision-making is essential. It’s widely applicable, from website navigation to control system environments.

Extreme example: 

Cognitive load - Hick’s Law can better guide us to reduce cognitive load

A Word of Caution: Don’t Oversimplify

While it’s tempting to reduce choices to the bare minimum, be cautious. Over-simplification can lead to user drop-off, as they may find the process tedious or feel like they’re being led through unnecessary steps.

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