Initially, it might sound complicated but Fitts’s law is one of the easiest laws to understand.
Time to acquire a target is a function of the size of the target
and the distance to the target
Here is the formula of Fitts’s Law
Okay Let me simplify things here,
It tracks the time it takes to point at something, Taking in to
consideration the Size and Distance of Target.
It’s Faster to hit Larger Targets that are closer to you than to hit Smaller
Targets that are far away from you.
Digital world example
Struggled to open the Burger menu on our phone which is usually on top left/right corner of the screen? We struggle as it is placed in the hard zone, which makes it difficult to reach as well as consumes more time to reach.
Physical World Example
If you notice keys on your keyboard, Most often used keys Like Enter, Space, Shift are larger compare to other Keys as well as they are placed closer. Keys that are not used often are placed away, Like Delete & Esc.
Fitts’s Law is applicable on Digital as well as Physical world Designs.
How Fitts’s Law came into existence?
In 1954, psychologist Paul Fitts, examining the human motor system, showed that the time required to move to a target depends on the distance to it, yet relates inversely to its size. By his law, fast movements and small targets result in greater error rates, due to the speed-accuracy trade-off. Although multiple variants of Fitts’ law exist, all encompass this idea.
Takeaways from Fitts’S Law
Size is one of the crucial factors of the Law but don’t forget the spacing it plays an equally crucial role. You should design important elements larger in size and place them closer, especially for touch devices while
maintaining proper spacing.
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