Website Design

Elevating User Experience: Laws of UI/UX for Modern Websites

September 13, 2023

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the true essence of a website’s success goes beyond mere superficial aesthetics or functionality. User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design have risen above these boundaries, guided by a series of fundamental psychological principles. These principles determine how users interact and connect with digital interfaces, forming the bedrock of the ‘laws’ of UI/UX design. These laws serve as the foundation for creating engaging and memorable digital experiences. As we delve into this exploration, we embark on a journey to uncover these essential laws of UI/UX design. Along the way, we shed light on their profound significance, accompanied by real-world examples showcasing their application in contemporary website design.

1. Zeigarnik Effect: The Power of Unfinished Tasks

The Zeigarnik Effect, a psychological phenomenon underscoring the importance of unfinished tasks, is now a central tenet of modern website design. As users engage with digital interfaces, the feeling of incompleteness can be leveraged to enhance engagement. An illustrative example of this effect is evident on Duolingo, a language-learning platform. Here, progress trackers and completion bars serve as consistent reminders of ongoing lessons. This straightforward yet impactful technique harnesses the Zeigarnik Effect, effectively motivating users to revisit and complete their initiated tasks.

2. Hick’s Law: Navigating Choices with Ease

Transitioning from the exploration of psychological principles, we delve into the realm of design strategies that address the challenges of user decision-making. The era of abundant choices in the digital realm has brought Hick’s Law to the forefront of UI/UX design. As the number of choices swells, users spend more time on decision-making. To combat decision fatigue and ensure seamless experiences, websites frequently adopt minimalist design approaches. A prime example of this philosophy is evident in the user interface of Tesla’s website. Here, a streamlined layout presents users with lucid and succinct options, enabling them to center their attention on essential tasks such as exploring vehicle models, customizing features, and scheduling test drives. This thoughtful curation mitigates the overwhelming effect of numerous choices, thus enhancing the user journey.

3. Serial Positioning Effect: Primacy and Recency in Focus

Moving our focus to cognitive influences on design, the Serial Positioning Effect illuminates ways to enhance memorability within modern web design strategies. This phenomenon underscores the significance of items positioned at the series’ beginning and end. An embodiment of this principle is evident on Behance, a dynamic platform serving creative professionals. Ingeniously, portfolio presentations place recent and exceptional works in prominent spots, capitalizing on the power of primacy and recency. By prioritizing such content placement, this design approach guarantees users’ exposure to the most impactful materials. The outcome is heightened engagement and a lasting imprint on the user experience.

4. Jakob’s Law: Familiarity Breeds Intuition

Jakob’s Law advocates for the integration of familiar design patterns into websites, allowing users to navigate with ease. Twitter’s website stands as a testament to this principle. The platform’s layout and interaction design follow established conventions that users are accustomed to from other social media sites. This familiarity significantly reduces the learning curve, enabling users to engage seamlessly without the need to adapt to a new interface.

5. Von Restorff Effect: Standing Out for Impact

The Von Restorff Effect underscores the power of distinctiveness in memory retention, providing valuable insights for crafting memorable user experiences. The Tesla website, yet again, emerges as an embodiment of this principle. The minimalist design is punctuated by strategic use of vivid colors and striking visual elements. For instance, the electric “Order Now” button draws immediate attention due to its vibrant contrast against the subdued color scheme, enticing users to take action and explore further.

6. Aesthetic Usability Effect: Beauty and Functionality Unite

The Aesthetic Usability Effect underscores the integral connection between aesthetics and functionality in web design. Apple’s website stands as an epitome of this principle. The clean, visually pleasing layout aligns with Apple’s brand identity, but it doesn’t stop at aesthetics. The design harmoniously integrates intuitive navigation, ensuring that users not only admire the website’s visual appeal but also navigate it effortlessly.

By incorporating these laws of UI/UX design, websites can transcend being mere digital platforms and transform into immersive experiences. From leveraging the Zeigarnik Effect to boost engagement, to implementing the Von Restorff Effect to enhance memory retention, each law empowers designers to create web experiences that resonate deeply with users, leaving an indelible mark in the digital world.


  • Zeigarnik Effect: Zeigarnik, B. (1927). Das Behalten erledigter und unerledigter Handlungen. Psychologische Forschung, 9(1), 1-85.
  • Hick’s Law: Hick, W. E. (1952). On the rate of gain of information. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 4(1), 11-26.
  • Serial Positioning Effect: Murdock, B. B. (1962). The serial position effect of free recall. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64(5), 482-488.
  • Jakob’s Law: Nielsen, J. (2000). Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity. New Riders.
  • Von Restorff Effect: von Restorff, H. (1933). Über die Wirkung von Bereichsbildungen im Spurenfeld. Psychologische Forschung, 18(1), 299-342.
  • Aesthetic Usability Effect: Tractinsky, N., Katz, A. S., & Ikar, D. (2000). What is beautiful is usable. Interacting with Computers, 13(2), 127-145.

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