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Jakob’s Law of Internet User Experience

October 02, 2019

Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group, a consulting firm focused on user-experience, has what I think is a pretty profound observation when it comes to design for the web. He calls it the “Law of Internet User Experience” and it can be summarized the following way:1

Users spend most of their time on other sites. This means that users prefer your site to work the same way as all the other sites they already know. Design for patterns for which users are accustomed.

Interesting reminder about how user behavior and expectations are shaped through the accumulation of interactions across the web. Standing out is good - but too much can be a hindrance.

Footnotes


Stephen Weiss

Thanks for reading! My name's Stephen Weiss. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn.
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