For a discipline that’s commonly seen as being mostly fuelled by creativity rather than being particularly rule-governed, principles, maxims, and laws seem to abound in the world of design.
This perception of design being about creativity, first and foremost, rather than deliberate thought is a naïve and superficial one, though. Design of course has always been about principles and constraints, Dieter Rams‘ famous Ten principles for good design being a particularly good example.
UX designer Jon Yablonski created Laws of UX, where he not only compiled the most quintessential laws in user experience design but also explains each of these laws and principles in quite some detail, including additional links and articles on each one.
Among the principles listed are the following:
- Aesthetic Usability Effect: Users often perceive aesthetically pleasing design as design that’s more usable.
- Fitt’s Law: The time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target.
- Hick’s Law: The time it takes to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of choices.
- Law of Common Region: Elements tend to be perceived into groups if they are sharing an area with a clearly defined boundary.
- Law of Proximity: Objects that are near, or proximate to each other, tend to be grouped together.