January 30, 2023 Training

Design Concepts on LawsOfUX.com

Aesthetic-Usability Concept

Something that’s nicer to look at is easier to use (at least, that’s what we think)

We like attractive things, so we are inclined to believe something pretty is better

We are therefore also more forgiving of small issues when something looks nice

– This can be a problem in QA testing

– How could this affect client reviews?

– How could problems missed affect usability for disabled clients?

– Remember, small issues! Good aesthetics can only hide so much

Early impressions stick around, so it’s important to consider aesthetics

Positive relationships with a design can encourage us to be better problem-solvers instead of getting frustrated and quitting

– Negative relationships reduce patience and creativity

– Consider this when stress increases fatigue and lowers cognitive performance

Form and function should go together

Doherty Threshold

Productivity increases when both the user and computer interact at a pace that doesn’t slow down either (About <400ms)

Providing system feedback can help maintain the attention of users

Progress bars, e.g., can increase patience by providing feedback, even if they aren’t accurate

– Animation provides the feedback while processing is happening

Purposely delaying something can increase our sense of its value

Surpassing the threshold (coming in under 400ms) can make interaction “addictive”

Fitt’s Law

The time needed to trigger a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target

– i.e. How long it takes for you to hit a button depends on where it is located on the screen and how big it is

Targets should be large enough to hit, spaced out from each other to prevent misclicks, and placed on the screen where the user can reach them

– Fitt’s Law predates it, but specifically important for mobile!

If something is too difficult to hit, you risk losing a person’s attention or patience

Assumes how users work and where the user’s hands are (which is difficult on a computer and near impossible on a smartphone)

UX is about user advocacy! Consider that you can’t assume how the user works

Goal-Gradient Effect

The follow-through rate towards a goal increases the closer you get

– e.g. Duolingo’s “Learners who complete the first lesson are 10x more likely to finish it”

We work more quickly when we are closer to completing something

Providing artificial progress markers can inspire people to continue

Be clear in indicating progress to learners

Look at loyalty-programs, progress bars, and milestone awards

Gamification is a way to add these milestones to help us feel like we’ve made progress

Allowing for flexibility in goals help retain people who may be otherwise falling behind