AccotZhai Steering Law Implications for UI Design

Accot-Zhai Steering Law: Implications for UI Design
Accot-Zhai Steering Law: Implications for UI Design

The Accot-Zhai Steering Law (discovered by HCI researchers Johnny Accot and Shumin Zhai, but also known simply as the Steering Law) is a corollary of Fitts’s Law. The Steering Law is an equation that predicts the efficiency of very common interactions; it describes the particular case of path-steering tasks — that is, when a user must move a pointer through a path with boundaries or a “tunnel.” The equation is:

T is the overall movement time, a and b are constants, A is the length of the tunnel, and W is the width of the tunnel.

Don’t worry, most UX professionals will never need to use this equation: the main actionable insight is that long, narrow tunnels take more...






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