Fitt’s Law

By Deane Barker on August 13, 2003

AskTog: A Quiz Designed to Give You Fitts: A phenomenal article from Bruce Tognazzini explaining Fitt’s Law and how it applies in GUI design:

“The Apple menu bar is a lot faster than menu bars in windows. Why? Because, since the menu bar lies on a screen edge, it has an infinite height. As a result, Mac users can just throw their mice toward the top of the screen with the assurance that it will never penetrate and disappear.”

The gist is that when we’re trying to hit a target with the mouse (1) we need it big, (2) we need it close, and (3) we need not to have to worry about overshooting it so we don’t have to slow down before we hit it.

The whole article is full of things I never even remotely considered. I always thought I knew enough to be an Interaction Architect right off the bat, but now I’m not so sure.