July 29th, 2019

The Five Laws of User Experience

In his book ‘Atomic Habits’, James Clear proposes the following as the four 'laws' of behavior change:

  • Make it obvious
  • Make it attractive
  • Make it easy
  • Make it satisfying

These map to what he has named the habit loop: the cycle of

  • Cue (which triggers your brain to initiate a behavior)
  • Craving (what you crave is not the habit itself but the change it delivers)
  • Response (the actual habit which has the form of a thought or action)
  • Reward (the end goal of every habit)

I am in the middle of a design project to help a company improve their product’s (an app) user experience. Considering all products are about facilitating a certain user behavior, this is a great list of directives to use.

The “Make it …” framing also reminded me of Paul Graham’s popular startup mantra “Make something people want”.

If we combine the set and rephrase Paul Graham’s mantra a bit, we get...

...the five laws of user experience

  • Make it what people want
  • Make it obvious
  • Make it attractive
  • Make it easy
  • Make it satisfying

:D