What is Jackobs Law in UX?

Jakob’s Law, named after usability expert Jakob Nielsen, is a fundamental principle in UX design, or user experience design. It states that users prefer websites and apps to function in a way that is consistent with their past experiences on other similar products. In simpler terms, users like things to be familiar.

Here’s the gist of Jakob’s Law:

  • Users develop mental models based on their past experiences with digital products. These mental models are essentially how users think a website or app should work.
  • When users encounter something new, they subconsciously compare it to their existing mental models.
  • If a website or app follows established conventions (common design patterns), it will be easier for users to learn and use because it aligns with their expectations.

Following Jakob’s Law helps create a smooth user experience (UX) by:

  • Reducing the learning curve: Users don’t have to waste time figuring out how things work because they can rely on their existing knowledge.
  • Increasing efficiency: Users can complete tasks faster because they can navigate the interface intuitively.
  • Improving user satisfaction: Familiar interfaces are less frustrating and more enjoyable to use.

It’s important to note that Jakob’s Law doesn’t mean there’s no room for innovation in UX design. There’s a balance to be struck between familiarity and originality. But by leveraging established conventions, designers can create a solid foundation for a positive user experience.

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