Logic v Emotions
Most people can apply a degree of logic when it comes to using technology, be this a website, mobile phone or a fridge, but besides triggering the logical part of our brain, the interaction with the device in question will also cause an emotional response.
The emotional responses that are created by this interaction, be it a short or long one, in turn create a number of experiences. Together they represent the ‘User Experience’ that is often talked about as being so important in today’s ever more competitive world.
This is of course because competition (for just about anything) is getting more and more intense. Thus it is vital that the user’s perception of a product (or in Rouge’s case, the websites they create) is a good one, because if not, your users will simply not return.
Thus in web design, the field of UX (User Experience) is all about creating a positive response, this being achieved by making the site visually appealing, engaging and above all simple to use (navigation should be intuitive and easy).
Keep it Short to Avoid Cognitive Overload
Imagine visiting a site and being faced with a ‘wall of text’, no white space, no images, just words, loads and loads of them. It is no surprise that in most instances the user’s reaction to such a site is to run away in horror, their brain simply labelling the site as requiring far too much effort…
Basically this means that the job of the UX designer is to create a site that is easy to use, one where they do not have to ‘work out’ how to glean the information that they want and can easily navigate to the next page they need to visit / read.
Making Sure the Pages are Simple to Read
This is achieved in a number of ways, these including using short sentences, using simple language and making sure the structure is logical. One way of making sure you are on the right track is to run a check on the ‘Lexical Density’ . Such tests do not give you a readability score, but they do let you know how much information you are putting across. And if you get above 60% you may well be trying a little too hard as you will have ‘crammed’ an awful lot of data into the text. This can make it just too hard to absorb, triggering that negative emotional response you are trying to avoid.
Remember the Power of Fonts
It is a well known truth that when it comes to design – selecting the right fonts and displaying those fonts in the right way will either make or break the user experience that all visitors receive. It is therefore vital to ensure that the typography of a site (https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/topics/typography) is carefully considered and planned.
Keep the User Informed
When it comes to using the web or for that matter any computer, users need to know that their request, whatever that is, has been acknowledged and is being processed. There are many ways of providing this essential clue to the user ( ones that do not interrupt the flow are the best ) buttons that highlight or change colour when clicked, progress bars or other forms of animations all doing the trick.
Don’t Forget the Showing the User The Next Step
This is the next part of that all important ‘feedback’ this being all about showing the user what they should do next.
Keeping it all Consistent and Predictable
Just like anything else to do with your Brand (Rouge are experts in the field of Branding too) it is essential to maintain consistency in the design and the way the site operates. Failing to do this can seriously affect the way your customers ‘rate’ you and that can lead to a lack of loyalty.
Make Sure That It’s Fun
Of course it is not always possible to make everything ‘fun’ , but the clever user of engaging graphics, animations (or perhaps some gamification) , can really help.
However, it is essential not to go over the top here…
TEST TEST TEST
As with anything, it is always best to test (using real users) a website. Just to make sure that it indeed meets the requirements and does provide the great user experience that is needed. There are a number of ways that this can be done, one way is to use a company like WhatUsersDo.
For more information about how a to create a great user experience on your site, please do contact us.