“The whole title can be slightly misleading, ‘Laws of UX,’ when, in reality, there is no law in UX,” Jon, who serves as a design lead at a company called Vectorform, said over the phone. He recently released an ongoing collection of design principles rooted in psychology on lawsofux.com. He wants to encourage designers to be influenced by fields outside of design, and created “Laws of UX” as a resource for other designers to take into consideration when building user interfaces.
“Nothing will actually replace user research, testing, and data that’s specific to whatever project you’re on, but I do think these cognitive principles can serve as universal rules of thumb that can help make an experience more intuitive and user-friendly,” Yablonski said.
Creatively, the design of the project is inspired by the simplicity of vintage Penguin psychology books, one of Jon’s artistic interests. It explores concepts such as Miller’s Law, which states that “the average person can only keep seven (plus or minus two) items in their working memory.” Each law has a corresponding downloadable poster that Jon designed.
We talked to Jon to learn more about the Laws of UX, why side projects can be so crucial for designers, and how UX designers can adapt the principles into their own work. Find his answers below.
What inspired you to put these laws together and create lawsofux.com?
I was working on an automotive-related project at the time. I was doing a lot of work with their HMI department and their internal product design office, really just finding myself having to do a lot of validation and research for a design decision. When you’re changing anything in a vehicle interface, it has a lot of implications.
I found myself doing a lot of research around these cognitive principles that happen to have a lot of overlap with UX design. The more research I did about these cognitive principles, I realized that there really wasn’t many designer-friendly resources out there that were available. What this really did was motivate me to create a resource that collected all these principles and present them in a visual way that demonstrates the general concept of what each one was, but also makes it a little more memorable.
Aside from that, I have a slight obsession with side projects. I’m a big believer in them. I think that they provide a lot of opportunity to just really dive into something new or further explore an idea that really inspires you. I took on Laws of UX in order to not only be more familiar with these principles that I was researching and then document them, but also to enforce some different development tools and have fun with the design in general.