7 Fundamental UX Design Principles

User experience design, more commonly referred to as UX Design is the practice of understanding and creating an interface or product that focuses on usability and accessibility. The better or more positive a user experience the better that website or product tends to convert users into customers or simply attaches a more positive emotion with the company’s brand.

Commonly confused with user interface design or UI Design, user experience design focuses on the functional engagement of a website, while UI design refers to the visual elements of a website design.

I have managed a Toronto web design company for nearly 20 years and have decades of experience putting these fundamental UX design principles to work creating websites and mobile app interfaces focused on providing a positive user experience to end users. In order to put these principles to work, we first need to understand the principle of design behind each UX practice and how users make sense of information in regards to your website or product.

Hick’s Law
Hick’s Law

Hick’s Law

Hick’s Law states that the more complex the choices are we offer the viewer, the longer it will take them to make a decision. Of all the UX design principles this one can really make or break a user experience. A subtle change here or there can mean the difference in millions of dollars worth of website conversions. You have likely heard of the KISS principle before (Keep It Simple Stupid) as this is derived directly from Hick’s Law. Designers often understand users needs quite well and make sure to use Hick’s Law within their UX design practices to save viewers time by providing clear and concise information in situations where an important decision is to be made.

Fitts’s Law
Fitts’s Law

Fitts’s Law

Fitt’s Law is very similar to Hick’s Law when creating principle designs. The difference between the two laws is subtle but important as Fitt’s Law is a predictive model of human movement that is primarily used in interaction and UX design. Fitt’s Law is deeply rooted in science and aims to predict the time required to rapidly move to a target area that is a function of the ratio between the distance to the target and the width of the target.

The Zeigarnik Effect
The Zeigarnik Effect

The Zeigarnik Effect

First noticed in the early twentieth century, the Zeigarnik effect is a psychological phenomenon based on the tendency to remember interrupted or incomplete tasks more easily than the tasks that have previously been completed. In user experience design, web designers can provide users with better information by adding a progress or loading bar to interactions.

The Von Restorff Effect
The Von Restorff Effect

The Von Restorff Effect

The Von Restorff Effect is more commonly referred to as the “Isolation Effect.” This UX design principle states that people will remember the most unique element within a group of similar elements that are viewed together. In terms of user experience design, we often tend to use this design method to highlight important information such as contact details or calls to action.

The Law of Common Region
The Law of Common Region

The Law of Common Region

The Law of Common Region states that UX design elements are visually grouped together when they share an area with a clear boundary between them. Website designers will often experiment by adding borders or subtle boundaries to a design element to create a shared or common region. Another tried and true method designers may use from time to time is defining a subtle background colour or pattern behind an element creating a common region.

The Law of Proximity
The Law of Proximity

The Law of Proximity

Proximity or the measure of the distance between two or more objects establishes relationships between elements in our perception. The Law of Proximity helps users understand, organize make better use of web site information more efficiently.

The Serial Position Effect
The Serial Position Effect

The Serial Position Effect

The Serial Position Effect is one of the most important navigational design principles that web designers need to follow. The Effect notes that when presented with a series of elements, people are most likely to remember the first and last items in the sequence. In terms of navigation design, this is most often why links to the most important content are placed in the first and last positions of the navigation. Content placed in the middle of the navigation typically is less important than the rest.

About Parachute Design

To learn more about our Toronto web design company or our web design process, please give us a call at 416–901–8633 or if you already have your project brief ready for review, take a seat for a few moments and complete our handy website design proposal planner.

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