Usability Tools Podcast: Applying Fitts’ Law

Jared Spool

February 28th, 2008

Usability Tools Podcast: Applying Fitts’ Law in Design
Recorded: January 25th, 2007 from the studios of UIE
Brian Christiansen, UIE Podcast Producer
Duration: 14 min | File size: 8 MB
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Each week in our Usability Tools Podcast, we will be sitting down to discuss tips and tools for improving your site’s user experience. The goal of our weekly podcast is to share some of the most important findings from UIE’s research on web design and usability.

A button is a button right? Move the mouse over it. Click. Not much to it, eh?

Well, when it’s a well-designed button, all the work your brain is doing to click the button is invisible to you. However, when it’s poorly designed, things start to become harder. Maybe you overshoot the target area? Or maybe you have trouble clicking because the button is too small. Often its not difficult to recover, but it costs attention and attention is expensive.

In this week’s podcast, we discuss the implications of Fitts’ Law. In short, the law states, “The time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target.”

While this seems obvious, it’s surprising how often it’s forgotten and the trouble that causes. And there’s magic that can happen when a designer takes special care to use Fitts’ law to its full advantage. Listen to the podcast to hear about how that can work.

As always, we’re very interested in hearing from you. Do you have questions or comments about this episode? We love to create shows based on your questions. Please leave a comment below or email us directly at

UIE’s Latest Research: If you’re interested in the topics we discuss in the podcasts, I highly suggest you sign up for our free newsletter, UIEtips, to read our latest usability and design research as soon as we publish it. We’ll also notify you in UIEtips when we publish new podcasts.

6 Responses to “Usability Tools Podcast: Applying Fitts’ Law”

  1. Fitts’ law - ‘the science of the obvious’ « The Usability Review Says:

    […] […]

  2. Fitts’s law Application in Helath Informatics « Says:

    […] induced by the highly interruptive environment in heath care. You can listen to Jared Spool on the Usability Tools Podcast describing the use of Fitts’s law in computer interface design. In short, things you need users […]

  3. frEdSCAPEs 3.0 » Blog Archive » Waarom doet de ene ‘t zus en de andere ‘t zo? Says:

    […] ~ Usability Tools Podcast: Applying Fitts’ Law […]

  4. Fitts’ Law « (dis)information architecture Says:

    […] Fitts’ Law Posted in Accessibility, Design, Development, Geek, Ideas, Information Architecture, Usability, Web by Suffian Rahman on April 10th, 2008 Thanks to Jared Spool’s Usability Tools Podcast, I am no longer ignorant on Fitts’ Law. […]

  5. jan korbel » Archiv » [UI] Fittsův zákon Says:

    […] Usability Tools Podcast: Applying Fitts’ Law […]

  6. Fitts’s Law and Interface Design : Says:

    […] Particletree had a feature article about Visualizing Fitts’s Law (by Kevin Hale) about a year ago which provides a fresher perspective than Wikipedia, but it’s also worth spending 14 minutes listening to Jared Spool’s Usability Tools Podcast: Applying Fitts’ Law. […]

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