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Finding it difficult to make a choice?

Want to make better choices? Familiarize yourself with Hicks’s Law.

You are not alone.

We, humans, are strange. We like to say we want as many options as possible, but when we get them, we get confused and can’t make a decision.

Ever heard of Hick’s law?

It is as prevalent as Murphy’s Law and Puerto’s principle and is widely used in the design world.

I must admit I hadn’t heard of it until I was introduced to it by Krisztina Szerovay through the above sketch on her Sketching for UX Designers course on Udemy.

Hick’s Law states,  “The time it takes for a person to make a decision as a result of the possible choices he or she has. Increasing the number of choices will increase the decision time logarithmically.”

We are bombarded with choices. Studies show that on an average day we make at least 70 choices. When there are too many things to choose from we either procrastinate or stick with a narrow range.

Think of your remote control. Do you know what each of the buttons does? How many buttons you actually use?

There is a very interesting TED Talk on the topic by Sheena Iyngar.

Hicks Law applies to time management too. With too much to do and too many attractive options demanding our attention, we spread ourselves thin and do not concentrate on what is important or what we really want to do.

Remedy? Have lesser choices.

Choose only a select few books and make sure you read them.

Have lesser hobbies, but make sure you give them time regularly.

Use only one source of getting news – TV or newspaper or computer.

Top Image Source: Krisztina Szerovay at Sketching for UX Designers.

choosing