Collated List of Useful UX and Design Principles.

An interface should be humane; it should be responsive to human needs and considerate of human frailties and below rules help achieve them. Wanted to do this for quite some time for my personal reference and for the benefit of my fellow designers. Collated below are useful UX and Design principles which when clubbed with User Requirement, Business Goal andCreativity can deliver splendid results. Do add to this list via comment section.

Hick’s Law
Hick’s law says that with every additional choice increases the time required to take a decision.

Fitt’s Law
Fitt’s law stipulates that the time required to move to a target area (e.g. click a button) is a function of the distance to the target and the size of the target. In other words, the bigger an object and the closer it is to us, the easier it is to use it.

Create Larger Targets Link
The likely most prominent statement derived from Fitts’s Law is that the larger a target, the faster it is to acquire.

Minimize Cursor Movement Link
A second statement one can deduce from Fitts’s Law is that the closer a target, the faster it is to acquire.

Avoid Muscular Tension Link
The goal of Fitts’s index of performance is to quantify the information capacity of the human motor system. In other words: it aims to rank input methods according to the amount of physical effort they require to execute a certain command.

Exploit The Prime Pixels Link
The concept of prime pixels states that some pixels are faster to acquire than others. Corners and edges of the screen are especially fast to access. However, the fastest-to-acquire pixel in any situation is simply the pixel at the current cursor position, which has lead to the introduction of the right-click context menu into human–computer interaction.

Gestalt psychology
Gestalt psychology is a theory of mind and brain. Its principle is that the human eye sees objects in their entirety before perceiving their individual parts. The central principle of gestalt psychology is that the mind forms a global whole with self-organizing tendencies.

Below are the gestalt design laws that allow us to predict how people will perceive something.

Law of Proximity
Law of Similarity
Law of Closure
Law of Symmetry
Law of Common Fate
Law of Continuity

The Hick-Hyman Law
It suggests there is a linear relationship between the number of options presented and subsequent choice reaction times. So selection speed would be slower with every extra item.

The law states that with every additional choice the time it will take for one to make a selection increases. This means that the more options a user has when using your website or web application the more difficult it will be to use. This law really speaks the importance of simplicity.

What this means for us designers is that we should minimize the amount of choices a user has to select from. Removing any unnecessary pages, links, buttons or selections will make your designs much more effective.

Occam’s Razor
Occam’s Razor put simply, states that “the simplest solution is almost always the best.” With the flexibility and power of the web and our design tools, it is easy to get carried away.

The Pareto Principal, or the 80 / 20 Rule
The pareto principal stipulates that a high percentage of users will perform a low percentage of actions. Meaning that most of your users are going to go to a small percentage of pages. Or in terms of web applications that most of your users will perform a small percentage of tasks.

Divine Proportions
Golden ratio is a magical number 1.618 that makes all things proportioned to it aesthetically pleasing (or so it is believed).

Then there is also the Fibonacci sequence where each term is defined as the sum of the two previous terms: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 and so on. The interesting thing is that we have two seemingly unrelated topics producing the same exact number.

Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is a method of composing elements to be visually pleasing in addition to identifying ways that users eyes will scan across the page. Photographers have been using this principal for years to create more visually interesting compositions.

Mental Models
The Mental Model law states that it is significantly easier for users to understand and learn something new if they can model it off of something they already understand. This is why the concept of tabs works so well and why operating systems are modeled off of real world office situations (folders, files, desktop, etc…).

Visual Hierarchy
Visual hierarchy is one of the most important principles behind good web design. It’s the order in which the human eye perceives what it sees.

White space and clean design
White space (also called ‘negative space’) is the portion of a page left “empty”. It’s the space between graphics, margins, gutters, space between columns, space between lines of type or visuals.

And last but not the least; 20 Guiding Principles for Experience Design:
– Stay out of people’s way
– Present few choices
– Limit distractions
– Group related objects near each other
– Create a visual hierarchy that matches the user’s needs
– Provide strong information scent
– Provide signposts and cues
– Provide context
– Avoid jargon
– Make things efficient
– Use appropriate defaults
– Use constraints appropriately
– Make actions reversible
– Reduce latency
– Provide feedback
– Use emotion
– Less is more
– Be consistent
– Make a good first impression
– Be credible and trustworthy

Thank you for making it to the bottom of this post. If you find my ideas interesting do follow me on twitter @bornindian and visit my linkedin page.

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