Join Chris Nodder for an in-depth discussion in this video The 7 +/- 2 rule, part of Interaction Design for the Web.
- We just talked about showing people the options…to pick from using recognition rather than recall.…That often lead to another discussion…about how many menu items we can have…before the list gets too long and confusing.…There's a design myth around this…called the seven, plus or minus two rule.…It has its roots in memory research…and somehow it got associated with menu list lengths.…The background to this is some research from the 1950s…by George Miller at Princeton…which shows that we can store about seven chunks of data…in short-term memory.…
He suggested that some people can store more…and some people can store less.…That's why we get the plus or minus two part.…What happened is that somewhere along the way,…maybe because menu items are a little bit…like chunks of information,…people started saying that menus should not have…more than seven, plus or minus two items in them.…I have to say, that's a bogus rule.…Menus can be much longer…if they use grouping and separators.…What you'll notice, though, is that the list of options…
- Designing around human limitations
- Telling stories
- How we group the things we see
- Making standard and consistent interfaces
- Smart defaults
- Reducing system latency and communicating during delays
- Making error messages into useful dialogs
- Designing for delight
Skill Level Beginner
1. How Brains Work
2. How We See Things: Perception Principles
3. Real-World Metaphors: Physical Concepts
4. Telling a Story: Workflow Concepts
5. Communicating through the UI
6. Designing for Delight
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