Published on 08/09/2022

The checklist of ergonomic laws to use in your media and digital interfaces

Ergonomics and interfaces are at the center of our lives. Mobile applications, software and business interfaces, ergonomics is everywhere. But what is it? What is it used for in my work ? In this article, you will find a checklist of ergonomic laws that are easy to understand and to implement for all the professions that still hesitate to use ergonomics as a real strategic tool.


«  If you think a good design is expensive, you should evaluate the cost of a bad design. »

Ralf Speth, Jaguar CEO



Ergonomics is the scientific discipline that improves the work of users. Term coming from the Greek – Ergo {work} and Nomos {laws}.


Ergonomics and human sciences

Many studies have focused on ergonomics and its impact on human/machine interaction.



We are constantly faced with making choices. Our work tools communicate information to us, our collaborators share data with us… Ergonomics is present in every exchange and interaction with our tools. Science allows us to better understand this link. It studies the interactions with a device, a product or a service that requires the use of the major mental functions of humans. It also studies the possible problems of mental load or cognitive load that results from this interaction.


Facilitate the work of the brain to decide more quickly what action it should perform.



Why ergonomic laws ?

The laws will allow to take into account more than 70 years of experience in the field of interface design, to use the right visual codes and to align with consumers’ habits. The ergonomic laws will guarantee interfaces that will help the brain to quickly decide which action(s) it should perform.


Benefits for users

Respecting the ergonomic laws means ensuring a :

  • Better adoption: Improve the engagement and adoption of your users
  • Better transformation: Optimize the user’s journey through the purchase tunnel
  • Better experience: Offer a rich and memorable experience


How to integrate ergonomic laws in your work ?

Ergonomic laws can be integrated into the needs of all types of structures, all sectors of activity and all professions. For example:


  • Produce a clear commercial activity report
  • Designing an efficient data visualization service


  • Produce a synthetic financial report with trend view
  • Design a comprehensible financial dashboard


  • Guarantee the right structure of your media
  • Maintain consistency in all your media
  • Engage your managers with innovative reporting


Example in image

We present you with an example of a very common customer case, where the problem is to communicate a report with a clear message. In our case, we want to communicate the ‘Net results of company X by department’. On the left, the standard graphical representation with a lot of scattered information and a confusing reading of the information. On the right, using ergonomic rules, the information is structured, clear and readable.



THE checklist of ergonomic laws to make your projects successful

There are more than ten laws on ergonomics. We have selected the simplest laws to implement. They are all complementary. This list is a real checklist of good ergonomic practices. Following it is the guarantee of an efficient service.


Fitts’ law

It consists in highlighting the objects you want to use to invite the user to perform a given action. These objects must be close in distance and large in size.



Hick’s Law

It is concerned with the time taken by your users to interpret information. This time can increase depending on the number and complexity of the information. The more choices the user has, the longer it will take to decide!



Jakob’s law

This law recommends using an existing design pattern to avoid confusing the user. It is therefore advisable to design an interface that reuses existing conventions. For example, the very similar search engine between and



Miller’s law

A person can memorize on average 7 (plus or minus 2) items. This is a consequence of the limited capacity of our short-term memory.



Prägnanz’s law

The brain processes simple figures more easily than complex ones. Therefore, the simpler a shape or image is, the more easily and quickly it will be assimilated and memorized by the brain. It is important to remove all superfluous information, which creates a cognitive load and weighs down the navigation.



The law of serial position effect

This law specifies that man memorizes the first and last objects he has perceived. Indeed, the brain records the first objects that are presented to it, in its long-term memory. As for the last elements that it has detected, it stores them in its short-term memory.



Tesler’s law

It is about managing the complexity of an interface design. It says that for any system, there is a level below which you cannot reduce its complexity. From this point on, the complexity will only be displaced.



The Von Restroff effect

This law specifies that the object that differs from the rest of its group, has more chances to be retained. For example, we can apply a warm color on a link to attract attention or place a Call To Action button with an extended size.



The Zeigarnik effect

It states that humans remember incomplete tasks better than completed ones. Therefore, mechanisms are needed to remind the user of incomplete operations that need to be completed. Your brain quickly forgets all the completed actions to focus on those still in progress.



In conclusion

Our checklist is a selection of ergonomic laws that are easy to implement in any type of department and for any type of user. This selection will help you save time when producing reports or other materials for your management or employees. These are quick-wins that will enhance your work.


Who are we?

JEMS is a data industrialist. Our job is to create, manage and operate our customers’ data patrimony. We transform your data into real use cases.

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