Hick’s Law

Hick’s Law — UX Knowledge Base Sketch #5

What are the implications of Hick’s Law?

Hick’s Law states that increasing the number of choices will increase the decision time logarithmically.

While it may seem that this law is only about reducing complexity and eliminating choices, it has another implication. The reaction time has a logarithmic curve, since users can process information presented in categories or groups, therefore when the user makes a choice, he/she eliminates whole groups of other choices — that is why the curve is not linear. Consequently, Hick’s Law is also about creating meaningful and clear categories or groups (e.g. the letters of the alphabet), and choosing the right level of depth (e.g. in a menu structure).

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