User Experience and Fitts’s Law

I came across an interesting video from one of my favorite Youtube channels: Computerphile.

The video features Dr Sarah Wiseman (@oopsohno) who explains Fitts’s law in detail. I hadn’t heard of this law before, and I found the video a great example of how to apply human movement principles in improving user experience. You can read more about the law from Wikipedia.

In essence, Fitts’s law improves productivity by:

  1. Making the tools as close as possible to the user.
  2. Making the work table as large as possible so that the user can select items at ease.

The first is achieved by the right-mouse click. This lets users access functions right at the tip of their mouse pointer. So no matter where they are on the screen, the tools are just a click away. On a tablet this is achieved by a long-press.

The second part of the law is accomplished by having the dock or start button at the bottom of the screen. This effectively makes the items of infinite depth, making it easier for the user to select items from the area.

If you find these type of videos useful, then follow @computer_phile.

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Zaki Usman

Hello, I'm the founder and CEO at ShoutEx. I like to blog about marketing, mobile and web topics. Feel free to connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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