Hick’s Law: Reducing Choices For Interface Design

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May  12, 2021

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Hick’s Law Graph For Minimizing Choices

Usabilla

Cutting Back On Options For Faster Decision Making 

With people on the go and having limited time, they want a product that’s easy to use. Consumers want a UI that’s simple and provides a good user experience. The number of features and the ease of navigation is critical.

The best way to increase engagement for a product is to eliminate unnecessary items. According to Hick’s Law, a person’s ability to decide depends on the number of options provided. 

Sketch of Hick’s Law

Krisztina Szerovay

For new product managers, offering unlimited options may at first seem the best way to seek a higher ROI. However, that is not the case. The more options a user is presented with, the longer it takes users to make a decision.

Hick’s law focuses on minimizing choices to reduce the clutter that in turn improves the user experience. The purpose of Hick’s law is to reduce the complexity of making decisions. Complexity reduces by simplifying the decision-making process. 

Cutting back on options will lead to faster decisions by users. Users enjoy products that save time and get the job done. That is a fundamental principle for UX.

All Stages in Product Development Are Affected 

Long Checkout Process Increases Abandonment

Baymard Institute

Minimizing choices is vital in all stages of development. Creating a layout to ensure ease and demonstrate simplicity is the goal.

Prevent New Products From Falling Flat

Product managers at this stage should look at two things: 

  • What layout will show the product’s core value?
  • What will reduce the chances of opting out?

Products with too many choices not only stresses the brain. It also affects the UI of becoming a mature product. 

Adjusting Mature Products 

Products are seeing poor reviews. Users leave negative review comments if your product’s design solution is too complex for them to understand. Consumer spending is being affected, and the product struggles to retain users, along with their spending. 

Product managers are looking to get back existing customers. We call this a dormant stage. They are looking for ways to increase retention and improve the customer experience. 

Keep Progress Going For Mature Products 

Mature products at this point should have limited choices. It’s showing steady progress as a result. The visual design uses a suitable format. Maintaining this progress is what should be done. Preventing drastic design or adding additional options is critical.

Learn more about product UX- Never Stop Improving the Product UX- How to Leverage AI Technologies

Top Ways For Minimizing Choices For UI

Reduce options for decision making

Anton Nikolov

Minimizing may at first not seem as helpful to some people. It’s tempting to offer customers a range of options to satisfy them. You want users to feel they have options.

Minimizing choices to the essentials can help in the long run. Better product performance will happen. Better user experience will occur as a result. Users will have less stress trying to navigate or deciding what options to choose. 

The top benefits of minimizing choices are:

  • Minimalism
  • Cut back on negative reviews 
  • Product development 

Following A Minimalist Theme

Minimilist theme For simple layout

Visualmodo

One of the top trending UI patterns for apps is minimalist design. Many of you may have heard the term. It builds on the importance of simplicity, clarity, and legibility.

All features should demonstrate a level of ease and use. Endless options should not be of significant importance to this theme. 

Minimalists use enough white space to increase focus. It reduces the complexity of having too many decisions. In addition, it also reduces the use of unfamiliar elements and limits the UI colors to three. 

Different options for a simple approach

Mockingbot

According to Ismail Benmbarek, typography and objects with too much personality induce less emotion. Users want to text and UI elements that are big and simple. 

Studies have found simple, and big have induced more emotion. That is because minimizing is what helps users get more involved. New and mature products should benefit from using these tips.

The UX can quickly promote its core value so product managers can focus on advertising its essential features. In contrast, mature products can focus on addressing how to maintain a competitive edge over the competition. In addition, proper use of white space will help the product to find its way to success.

Cut Back On Negative Feedback

According to Ipsos and Medallia’s study on customer experience, personal experience with visual design impacts a brand.

Learn more about visual design in our article- Visual Design: Everything You Need to Know to Increase Product Sales

Based on the data from the studies, about 50% of users look at the personal experience as the main reason for choosing a product; and 20% of users prefer a product based on the recommendations from others, so customer feedback.

Customer experience is important

Medallia and Ipsos

That may seem like a low percentage. But further in the study, 47% of users abandon a brand because of negative reviews and online reputation.

Too many options will impact customer reviews

Medallia and Ipsos

Why is that? The visual design can have a massive impact on this. Customer experience is less influenced by traditional media and being swayed by company advertising. It’s more about the interaction of design. It’s about user touchpoints and ease of navigation.

Stagnant products are currently in this phase. With progress at a halt, product managers have to revisit the product. It may have the right features and tools but could be lacking a balance of white space. As mentioned before, white space increases concentration. To increase the white space, options need to be reduced.

Reducing options will bring more attention to important ones. Fewer clutter results in easier navigation. User touchpoints are easier to interact with. Above all, customer experience will increase as a result. The more positive reviews, the more likely it will increase traffic and installment rates. 

Product Development 

Similar to white space (link), minimizing choices helps usability testing. Usability testing is an important part of product development. Before a product is launched, research is gathered from UX researchers. 

Cutting back on options will be better for the UI. Firstly, users are more involved with the study. Secondly, it will cut back on negative reviews. Thirdly, product managers can make adjustments to the product without problems.

Learn more about UX strategies for product development- How to Improve Products Using UX Design-led Algorithms

Employees Want Fewer Things To Learn 

Decision Making is Easier With Limited Options

Laura Köln

For Employees, the fewer things to learn, the better. Employees that are designing the UI don’t want a complex layout. They don’t want to spend an additional X amount of time creating new features and pathways. 

The same thing goes for employee-facing products. People working with small businesses want to ease in learning the company’s app. Whether it’s for customer support or for adding orders, users want to reduce troubleshooting. 

Using Hick’s Law will improve employee morale. As a result, navigating through the app will be a cakewalk. It reduces the chances of negative reviews. Therefore, employees will be satisfied.

No Budget Is Required For Hick’s Law

Similar to white space, no budget is needed for minimizing options. Minimizing options saves money for businesses. In addition, it will increase consumer spending because it cuts back on troubleshooting. 

Learn more about the role of white space in our previous article- How Can White Space Enhance The Product User Experience?

Providing end-users with too many choices has a negative effect. It can come at a cost both financially and for user experience. Using this advice can prevent issues from happening. It prevents errors before the product development begins. 

This is why having a balance will help. Not only for the business but for the customer experience. White space and restraint work. The results will show up.

What also needs to be acknowledged is having balance. It’s good to limit options down to the necessities. However, cutting too much out can have negative results. There needs to be a balance between variety and limitation. Provide eye-catching options, but remember the essentials.

Conclusion

Product managers are always looking for ways to attract new users, retain existing users, and new growth channels. Minimalistic UX design solutions can help achieve those goals. It can also lead to more sales. To improve your product’s UX design talk to the designial; set up a free consultation with us.