Simplify, Engage, Convert: How Hicks' Law Boosts UX Design Success

Craig Barber
September 13, 2023
mins read

Today, we're diving into an intriguing concept that has the power to revolutionize your user experience UX design approach: Hicks' Law.

In this post, we'll unravel the essence of Hicks' Law, explore its application in UX design, and provide you with real-world examples to help you create more intuitive and user-friendly interfaces.

So, grab your favourite beverage and let's get started!

Understanding Hicks' Law

Hicks Law

Hicks' Law, named after British psychologist William Edmund Hick, states that the time it takes for a person to make a decision increases logarithmically with the number of alternatives presented.

In simpler terms, the more options a person has, the longer it takes for them to make a decision.

How Hicks' Law Impacts UX Design

Hicks Law

When applied to UX design, Hicks' Law reminds us of the importance of simplicity and reducing cognitive load for users.

By minimising the number of choices and streamlining decision-making processes, we can create interfaces that are more user-friendly and enhance overall user satisfaction.

Examples of Hicks' Law in UX Design

Navigation Menus

Hicks Law

Consider a website's navigation menu.

If it is cluttered with numerous options, users may feel overwhelmed and struggle to find what they're looking for.

By employing Hicks' Law, UX designers can create clear, concise navigation menus that present only the most essential options, guiding users effortlessly towards their desired destinations.

Form Design

Hicks Law

Forms are an integral part of many digital experiences, but they can be daunting for users if not designed thoughtfully.

Applying Hicks' Law to form design means breaking down lengthy forms into smaller, logical steps, allowing users to focus on one decision at a time.

For instance, a multi-page form can reduce cognitive load by presenting a limited number of fields per page, increasing the likelihood of completion.

Call-to-Action (CTA) Placement

Hicks Law

Hicks' Law also influences the placement of CTAs. When users are presented with multiple CTAs simultaneously, decision-making becomes more challenging.

By strategically placing a single, prominent CTA on a webpage, designers can guide users towards the desired action more efficiently, minimising confusion and increasing conversion rates.

Content Organization

Hicks Law

The way content is organised on a webpage or application significantly impacts user engagement.

When information is presented in a haphazard or overwhelming manner, users may struggle to locate what they need.

Applying Hicks' Law here means categorising and structuring content logically, allowing users to find relevant information quickly and effortlessly.


By incorporating Hicks' Law into your UX design process, you can create interfaces that captivate users and facilitate seamless interactions.

Remember, simplicity is key. Streamline decision-making processes, reduce cognitive load, and guide users towards their goals.

Whether it's designing navigation menus, forms, CTAs, or content organisation, keeping Hicks' Law in mind will undoubtedly result in a more delightful user experience.

So, go forth and create user interfaces that embrace the elegance of simplicity.

By applying Hicks' Law, you'll be on your way to building interfaces that users will love, fostering engagement, and ultimately achieving your design goals.

Happy designing!

Check out our post Laws of UX Design for more awesome stuff like this.

You may also like

Directional images

How to Use Directional Images to Skyrocket Conversion Rates

Discover how directional images can lead your visitors straight to action on your landing pages
Design portfolio fixups

How to Optimize Your Design Portfolio for Maximum Call Backs

Make your design portfolio a job magnet with 21 data-backed tips from employers
Mood board

Mood Boards: The Ultimate Guide for Product Designers

Explore the world of Mood Boards and unravel the secrets to unlocking design inspiration for UI designers