On Design: The Magic Number 7

January 2, 2007

You have to hand it to the team at 37Signals. They keep one of my favourite blogs, and in reviewing their best posts of last year they did not make one list, they made six and released them one after another…the 42 best posts of 2006.

Though they have not come out and said it, I’m sure they released six lists because they did not want to have more than seven links listed in one post. Seven is the “magic number”…the human brain does not do well when it has to retain or digest more than seven options/choices. Ever notice how our website only has seven main navigation links? No fluke there.

about the author

Co-Founder & CEO, FreshBooks Mike is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice, Mike spent 3.5 years growing FreshBooks from his parents’ basement. Since then, over 10 million people have used FreshBooks to save time billing, and collect billions of dollars. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times it’s rumored he’s the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.