Reduce the number of choices for your visitors. (Hick’s Law NOT Murphy’s Law)

September 30, 2019
Posted in Boost Blog
September 30, 2019 Emma Levis

Wait, that doesn’t sound right?!  Aren’t more choices better?

When it comes to website actionable items, most of the time it is not.

The time and the effort it takes to make a decision, increases with the number of options.

Hick’s law, or the Hick Hyman Law, is named after British and American psychologists William Edmund Hick and Ray Hyman. This law describes the time it takes for a person to decide as a result of the possible choices he or she has: increasing the number of choices will increase the decision time logarithmically.”

They say,

“When you need to simplify the complex process, use Hick’s law.”

Now the question arises, how can we get to use Hick’s law in our everyday routine matters?


Organize choices into sections

We can use Hick’s law to narrow down big volumes of information without overloading the user.

Instead of bombarding the customers with all the products and their features in one place, we can simplify them. To simplify, we must divide them into sections, and then into sub-sections.


This way, they won’t be confused due to multiple options. As often a customer gets to the website with a target in mind, but upon seeing so many options he gets distracted and loses focus. This leads to slow response time.


Avoid Murphy’s Law

Instead of believing in Murphy’s Law “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”;

We must take measures, so we can get favorable results.

According to our customers’ feedback, reducing the number of perceived options on screen makes the interface more users friendly.

However, you must maintain the delicate balance between simplifying and oversimplifying. Breaking down choices to a series of too many small pieces can also cause the user to drop off before reaching the goal.

Highlighting is an additional way to use Hick’s Law. Make a few important options to stand out among the cluttered user interface to speed up the response times. The highlighted prominent area tends to grasp attention immediately.



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