Usability & functionality rank higher than visual design when determining your website success or failure!
User experience (UX) is the latest digital marketing term being used to convert more users to customers, and make them stay when entering your website.
Certain rules and approaches to web design, if used properly, can help you make more sophisticated design decisions, an also simplify the presenting of information. To do that we need to see things from a users’ perspective, how they interact with websites, and what are the basic users’ behaviour patterns.
Upon closer inspection, users on the Web behave similarly as customers in a store. They glance at your pages, scan through the text, and click on links that they find promising or catch their fancy. But when the page fails to meet their expectations, users won’t think twice to hit the “Back” button and continue with their search process. In short, they skip the major part of your web page.
Web Design Quality and Credibility
Poor design and too much advertisements are big turn offs for online users. However, they are ready to compromise, provided you can present them with high-quality content. This is the reason why many ‘not-so-well-designed web-sites’ that have high-quality content, get to the top of Google and gain a lot of traffic. So if you have hired the services of a Web Design company, make sure the design they have created supports the content, and this gives your site credibility amongst search engines and users.
Users Scan Information
Site visitors don’t read the text, they scan through it. According to a study by Nielsen Norman Group, online users “read textual content in an F-shaped pattern.” They analyse the webpage text by searching for anchor texts or fixed points.
Impatient Site Visitors
With so many options available, web users are the most impatient people on earth. Worse still, they insist on instant gratification. This means that if you fail to meet their expectations, they will simply leave your website and look for other alternatives. High cognitive load and low intuitive navigation are big design failures that will cost you both web traffic and money.
Users don’t care
Users stick to what “they” find easy to use. As long as they can use your site and features, they will stick to it. Remember, it doesn’t matter if they understand how things work or not.
Every site visitor wants to control where they want to go, when they want to click on a link, and how they will contact you. It should be steady flow of information, controlled by the user. So when you get popping windows and links opening new browser pages, not only is it annoying, it takes the focus away from what they originally came to the site for. Also allowing the user to use the “Back” button to view a previous page, or breadcrumbs on inner pages, makes the experience a more pleasurable one.
Focus on Feature Exposure
Modern web designs often practice the approach of guiding users with 1-2-3 done steps, which is visually appealing. They use large buttons and visual effects to attract users’ attention, which works from a design perspective. In fact, such visually appealing 1-2-3 done guidelines are extremely effective to take your visitors through your website content.
You can use these simple and user-friendly features to provide a clear site structure. Make sure all your navigation options are visible to users at the first glance and your choice of colours must be appealing too. Good design practice is to use harmonious colour themes with lesser colours so that your visitors can focus on the context. If using contrasting colours, be careful with them and use them to differentiate between your context and the background.
Remember that your goal is to let users see the available functions clearly. This is one of the basic fundamental principle of proper user interface design. How you achieve it is up to you, but make sure the content is well-understood and your users are comfortable in interacting with the system.
Keep it simple
Anything that’s too complex tend to confuse us. From gadgets to website and apps, users prefer something that is simple to use and this “keep it simple” approach also applies to your website design. Users don’t come to your site to relish the design.
While they do appreciate good, user-friendly designs that are also aesthetically appealing, the main goal is to get the information or product/service they are looking for.
Create a simple and clear design so that users can easily navigate the site. The header, footer and content area must be easily recognisable. The menus must be readable and easy to navigate; same applies for sub-menus and all other links. If you are using icons, make sure they can communicate the information clearly without confusing the users.