Hick's law

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Hick's law, or the Hick–Hyman law is named after British and American psychologists William Edmund Hick and Ray Hyman. It describes the time it takes for a person to make a decision as a result of the possible choices.

Increasing the number of choices increases the decision time logarithmically. The amount of time taken to process a certain amount of bits in the Hick–Hyman law is known as the rate of gain of information.

Hick's law may support some computing menu design decisions. For example, to find a given word (e.g. the name of a command) in a randomly ordered word list (e.g. a menu). If the list is alphabetical, and the user knows the name of the command, he or she may be able to use a subdividing strategy that works in logarithmic time.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. Landauer, T.K.; Nachbar, D.W. (1985). "Selection from alphabetic and numeric menu trees using a touch screen". Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems - CHI '85. p. 73. doi:10.1145/317456.317470. ISBN 978-0-89791-149-8. S2CID 17669570.