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Navigation & Interaction by Smashing Magazine

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Redefining Hick's Law

By Jason Gross

Hick's Law1 has always been a popular reference point for designers. You'll find it cited in the endless lists of basic laws and principles2 that all designers should be familiar with. Given our assumed comfort level with this design cornerstone, I am surprised to see so many people getting it wrong.

What we think we understand about Hick's Law as it pertains to Web design is oversimplified and incomplete. We need to more deeply investigate what Hick's Law can do for Web design. In the end, we will see why this design principle is undervalued, and we will see how we have been designing incorrectly for the user's decision-making process. In order to get there, we need to look at our current approach to Hick's ...

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