Web Design | 23rd July 2019 By

What is Hick’s Law? – The Psychology of Design (2/7)

The Hick-Hyman Law:

The time it takes to make a choice increases with the number and complexity of options.

Hick’s Law is linked to the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid), the law aims to reduce cognitive load. Cognitive load refers to the total amount of information your working memory can handle.

Cognitive load

The Hick-Hyman Law can better guide us to reduce cognitive load for users by reducing choice and splitting lengthy or complicated processes into screens with fewer options.

Use Hick’s Law if response times are crucial. It applies to any simple decision making with many options. This is particularly relevant in control system environments.

Extreme example: 

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

When not to use the law?

It is vital to note that you should not oversimplify! Cutting down choices to a series of too many small parts can cause users to drop off before reaching the goal.

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