Chapter 3. Hick’s Law

The time it takes to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of choices available.

Overview

One of the primary functions we have as designers is to synthesize information and present it in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the people who use the products and services we design. We do this because we understand, almost instinctively, that redundancy and excessiveness create confusion. This confusion is problematic when it comes to creating products and services that feel intuitive. Instead we should enable people to quickly and easily accomplish their goals. We risk causing confusion when we don’t completely understand the goals and constraints of the people using the product or service. Ultimately, our objective is to understand what the user seeks to accomplish so that we can reduce or eliminate anything that doesn’t contribute to them successfully achieving their goal(s). We in essence strive to simplify complexity through efficiency and elegance.

What is neither efficient nor elegant ...

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