Hick’s Law: Content Overload

Hick’s Law explains: The time it takes to make a decision increases as the number of alternatives increases.

It is important to keep this in mind when you are deciding to add another tab to your navigation, another link under a tab, another paragraph to a webpage, or another link in a sidebar.

Make Things Digestible

Every time you add something to your website, you decrease the importance of the other portions of it. Every time you add to a webpage, you may be “adding noise” that detracts from the most important information. As an example, everyone wants to be linked from the Michigan Tech homepage. Every department. Every academic program. Every initiative or group. However, how would a user ever navigation our website if everyone had a link? People would say that our website is unusable.

Digital Services uses analytics, user interviews, benchmarking, and leadership priorities to shape how we present our websites and the information within our websites. I challenge each individual department to treat their own website in the same way.

You can read more about Hick’s Law and how in applies to web design online:

Joel Vertin
Digital Services Manager