I am looking for a reasonably formal study of the impact of the number of elements in a list (e.g. a dropdown menu) on the time, effort, and loss of comfort for the user whose task it is to pick one element in the list.

I'm looking for something akin to Fitt's Law or Dreyfus' the measure of man's part on basic data reading in terms of scientific process.

  • The scope of this research is small enough that there might not be a formal published paper on it. All I’ve read before are results form usability studies.
    – Nicolas
    Commented Nov 5, 2020 at 22:25
  • 1
    What search terms did use searching for papers/articles? For example from Google Scholar? So we don't duplicate the work you've already done. Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 6:52

1 Answer 1


It sounds like you're looking for Hick's Law: Increasing the number of choices increases the decision time logarithmically.

You might also want to look around at Nielsen Norman, who publish well-researched articles. Here's one on dropdown lists.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.