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Thursday, October 11, 2012
I swear, in web design, there’s a law called Fitt’s Law
I swear there is a law called Fitt’s Law in web design. It states that the time and effort required to reach a target is dependent on the distance and size of the object on the page. This idea is emphasized by how humans interact with a computer. It plays an important role in the usability of a site by ensuring that important and distinctive content for your visitors remain within easy reach.
When I first came across this law, I thought ‘duh’. But then I have caught myself breaking such a common-sense law while designing User Interfaces where a lot of functions on the screen need attention.
I have even designed a search box without a button and thought ‘the user can just click enter’ when they are done. “Isn’t it cool?”. Cardinal usability objective lost!
Fitt’s Law and its concept have inspired other many modern trends where search boxes, sign up fields and sign up buttons are large. An example of a log in button can be seen on the WordPress.com website.
While going through a few examples on the web where the use of the Fitt’s Law was consciously used, I stumbled on this video that proves that Apple’s Mac OS X breaks the law in a couple of design elements to the disadvantage of users.
In a nutshell, think usability, think making the important pop out!