Nowadays, usability affects website performance more than visual design. Since the entire development of web projects is designed for the end-user, the term “User-centered design” has arisen. This approach is used not only in web development, but its application determines the probability of future success Internet project.
In this article, we will not consider specific examples of a particular interface element location, but we will analyze the basic principles of creating a web design. Considering these principles designer can come up with effective solutions when developing a user interface that will facilitate the user’s operation of your resource and, as a result, increase its productivity.
In order to understand how to implement this technique, first you need to understand the user behavior model on the site, understand their type of thinking and how they perceive information.
The habits of people in the browser are similar to their behavior in the supermarket. If a person goes online to search for something specific, then he will run his eyes through each page until he comes across a link that somehow describes what he is looking for. With such a "scan" the vast majority of the page content is missed.
If a user accesses the Internet to search for something specific, then as soon as he finds a promising search result, he clicks on it. If the opened page doesn’t meet users' expectations, they return to the previous one and the search continues.
Content is preferable to design. If a user stumbles upon high-quality content, he is ready to tolerate advertising and outdated website design. Therefore, there are so many examples of how poorly designed sites with high-quality content for a long time receive a lot of traffic. When ordering web development, it’s important to understand that content is more important than the design that surrounds it, so you need to prepare material to fill your resource in advance.
Users don’t read, but scan. When analyzing a web page, users look for some visual “anchors” that could help them perceive the content of the page. With such a fluent reading by the diagonal, it’s important to catch the user before he gets tired and leaves the page. Therefore, it’s important to use informative headings, highlight keywords, break the text into informative blocks.
Users are impatient and demand an immediate solution to their problem. A very simple principle: if the website can’t meet the expectations of users, then the designer hasn’t done his job properly and the company lost money. The less intuitive site navigation, the more users want to leave the website and look for alternatives.
Users don’t know how to make the best choice. They don’t search for information in a linear way, sequentially moving from one section of a site to another. Instead, users click on the first link they think is appropriate. Optimizing the display of content on the page is difficult and it takes a lot of time, however, the effectiveness of visiting your resource is increasing.
Users want to control. They want to be able to control their browser and rely on the uniform presentation of data throughout the site. For example, it is recommended not to open links in a new TAB, since users want to be able to return to the site using the "Back" button.
The web page should be clear and not require the instructions. Developing a website design, your task is to save the user from unnecessary questions. If the movement over the site and its structure aren’t intuitive, it becomes more difficult for users to figure out how everything works here. Clear architecture, easily identifiable links and moderate amount of visual cues, make it easier for users to find their way.
When developing a web project which intends to offer your visitors some service or tool, try to keep your user requirements to a minimum. The fewer actions required from users to test the service, the more likely it is that an occasional visitor will really try it. New visitors want to interact with the resource without filling out long forms to create an account that they may never use in the future. Allow users to explore the site and find out about your services without forcing them to share personal data. It makes no sense to force users to enter an email address to test this or that functionality. Ideally, remove all barriers, don’t require a subscription or registration first turn. Just registering a user is a good reason to leave your site and reduce incoming traffic.
Because websites provide both static and dynamic content, some UI details are more interesting than others. Obviously, images, videos, lists, and even text in bold are more attractive than just text.
The human eye is an extremely non-linear device, and users can instantly recognize eye-catching colors and movements. That's why promotional videos are very annoying and distracting, but from the point of view of marketing, they do an excellent job of attracting the attention of users.
Focusing users on certain areas of the site with moderate use of visual elements can help your visitors reach their final destination without thinking about how this should actually be done. The fewer questions visitors have, the better they navigate the site and increase their confidence in the company that it represents. In other words: the less you need to think, the more pleasant the user experience. The less the user needs to think, the better his user experience.
Providing the user with a clear understanding of the features available – is a fundamental principle in successful development the user interface. It doesn't matter how this is achieved. The important thing is that the content is well understood and visitors feel comfortable interacting with the system.
Since the Internet is different from print resources, you need to customize your writing style to correspond the users preferences. Promotional texts are usually not readable. Long text blocks without images and keywords in bold or italics will be skipped.
Talk business. Avoid affectionate or abstruse names, slang expressions, and complex technical terms. State your thoughts clearly and briefly. For example, if you want the user to create an account, it is better to use the call to action “register” than “start now!” or “try out our services”.
The principle of “be simpler” should be fundamental in the development of a custom design. Users rarely visit websites for admiring designs; moreover, in most cases they seek information without paying attention to the design.
According to visitors, the best website design is just a text block with relevant media content that exactly matches their needs, without any advertisements or additional content blocks. Below are examples of how you can make a car rental website and how to do it isn’t advisable.
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of visual space. This not only helps to reduce the cognitive load for users but also allows you to better perceive the information provided. When a new visitor first enters the site, the first thing he tries to do is browse the page and divide the content into readable pieces of information.
Complex structures are more difficult to read, scan, analyze and interact with. If you have a choice between delimiting two design segments with a separator or space, it is usually best to use a solution with spaces. Hierarchical structures reduce complexity: the better you manage to provide users with a sense of visual hierarchy, the easier your content will be perceived.
There are three main principles of using the so-called "visual language" - the content that users see on the screen.
The traditional display of site elements doesn’t mean that you have an ordinary uninteresting product. On the contrary, following this rule helps the user to penetrate your resource as quickly as possible. When creating an Internet portal, it's important to place key elements where users are used to seeing them. In this way, the developer helps the site visitor to get used to it faster, thereby gaining his trust. Below you can compare the design of online stores. Which one do you prefer more?
This principle must be used in every project, as usability tests help diagnose problems with site design. Most mistakes are made at the initial stages of design and the later they come to light, the more expensive they will be for the project.
It is considered the good practice to conduct testing after each change during the development process, this allows you to find problems that you didn’t notice in the first stages.
UI/UX design can be much more effective if you follow all these aspects. The software development company PNN Soft has been providing its web development services for more than 15 years. A dedicated team of our specialists will help you realize business projects of any complexity, using an arsenal of modern technologies and methodologies in the IT field. We provide a full range of services in web development, which include:
Our company is engaged in the development of various corporate systems and applications – web portals, information and analytical systems, automated enterprise management systems (ERP, CRM systems), electronic document management systems, etc. You can start implementing your ideas with a simple step – send a request with an order of site development to our mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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