Also known simply as Hick’s law, The Hick-Hyman Law is the idea that describes the time it takes for a person to make a decision as a result of the possible choices; increasing the number of choices will increase a user’s time to make a decision.

In William Edmund Hick and Ray Hyman’s own words: “The time it takes to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of choices”

A useful example of this is an Apple TV remote. The touch surface of this remote is 6 buttons total. The typical TV remote has 49 buttons. This results in significant time wasted trying to locate simple buttons or perform desired actions. Most will say, ‘it’s a remote, who cares, it takes two more seconds to find the info button, for example’ This is true. But in the context of great user experience and user interface design, incorporating this user psychology hack could be the difference between making a sale or a visitor getting frustrated and leaving your site or platform.

Reduce the decision making process and hide less important options. Minimize “cognitive load” for users by breaking up long or complex actions into screens that contain fewer options. A great example of this is Typeform. A step by step contact form that creates this experience of an actual conversation that keeps your user engaged by prompting individual questions.

User empathy is key in creating great user experience and the Hick-Hyman Law is no exception.