Table of Contents
Variants and Alternative Names
Any list should not contain more than 7±2 items.
Lists such as items in the main menu of a program or bullets on a presentation slide should be limited to 7±2 items.
The human short-term memory is limited. Research shows that one can remember 7±2 chunks of information.
- Divide a long list into sub-lists adhering to the rule.
Note that this principle is questioned.
See also section contrary principles.
- The original source for 7±2 is this: George A. Miller: The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information
- How this became a design rule is unknown.
- Accepted: The principle is widely stated as a (user interface) design rule.
- Questioned : It is highly doubtful to directly making a limit for memorizing digits to a generally applicable design rule. There is no evidence suggesting a rule that a list should not be longer then 7±2 items2).
Relations to Other Principles
- More Is More Complex: This is a proposed design rule, which is not directly affected by the criticism of Miller's Law.
- Derek M. Jones: The 7±2 Urban Legend
Discuss this wiki article and the principle on the corresponding talk page.
principles/miller_s_law.txt · Last modified: 2021-10-18 21:48 by christian