3 Ways Website Design Effects User Experience
Web design can be compared to architecture when looking at its relationship with users. It needs to fulfill the needs of people using the final product while remaining practical. These will change depending on a number of factors like demographics, budget, and the purpose of the developers.
When designing a website, user experience should be the most important element in mind as a developer. The same way a building is architecturally planned with a balance of aesthetics and functionality, websites should offer an experience that combines a polished design with tools that are simple to use.
There are various layouts that can enhance the positive experience of users on your website. It’s important to keep in mind how different approaches and styles can affect interaction with the tools and pages of the site.
There are 3 main ways design and development choices will influence the way users navigate a website:
Users need to be able to understand how to utilize your website from the very first moment they enter it. Intuition and simplicity are the keys to a website design that allows any audience to use it right away.
Considering the needs of your primary users is a must in order to create an accessible page. Imagine a user who is using the website for the very first time and is curious about its contents. Their needs will include a FAQ page, an About page, and possibly a blog to learn more information.
On the other hand, consider users who might be on your website with a specific intent to purchase or contact. Some essential elements may be a search bar, clear calls-to-actions, and contact information readily available.
Accessibility is often achieved through simplicity. Avoid adding confusing popups and excessive extra features (personalised cursors, gifs) that do not add much to the user experience. These features can add to the experience when used correctly, but don’t use them just to use them.
The small details can be very powerful. Underlining or using different colors for links. Clear, and bold buttons. Even having a general hierarchy behind the positioning of the essential elements will make a large impact. Designing your website with accessibility in mind will hugely impact your users’ experience.
The more someone knows about the structure and characteristics of a platform, the better their experience will be. Whether it’s a media platform or an entertainment piece, when familiar with the platform, the user’s experience will be smoother and more enjoyable.
Think about film genres. Categorizing them gives the viewer a sense of security in what they’re about to witness. Design elements of your website will communicate a great amount of information, simply through the way they are positioned. When planning to design a specific type of website, you will notice elements that are repeated in websites with the same purpose.
Sometimes, differentiating your design from similar web pages is not the smartest option. Instead of intriguing audiences, it may confuse or negatively impact the experience. Especially for new people who aren’t yet aware of the website’s purpose. A familiar layout will not only grant users a fast and easy navigation, but it will also make them feel welcome.
Stylistic choices such as positioning of tools, menus, headers, sidebars and search bars are excellent ways to suggest the website’s genre. It’s an immediate signal to users of what they should be expecting to find when interacting with the site.
Style is the main component of a website that delivers a unique and memorable user experience. Consistent details like the type of images used, typography, iconography, and the use of colors will heighten the experience. This is why it’s imperative to establish brand guidelines.
The influence of color theory is directly linked to the type of experience the developers wish their users to have. Choosing typography that is related to the company’s logo will create a pleasant balance. From there, carefully choosing fonts that complement each other will elevate the website’s appearance.
In addition, a knowledge of trends and conventions will allow you to create a modern look for your website. A perfect example are mobile menus. As people interact with websites more and more on their phones, it’s becoming more common place to see hamburger menus used on desktops as well.
The emphasis on user experience when designing your website’s layout should be top of mind. While a multitude of factors may effect it, it’s important to recognize that design and development must work synergistically to maximize your website’s experience.
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