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User Experience Principles For A Great Website Design

When you work on web design, one of the few things that you will always have to work on is ensuring a good user experience. User experience design is a process to develop websites and apps that offer a relevant and meaningful experience to the user. It combines several aspects of usability, design, function, and branding.

UX design is ever-evolving. It is a creative field with new trends being born every now and then. Perhaps that’s why website redesign is a common practice. You will find several business owners finding professionals to revamp their websites and make them user-friendly.

UX design might keep developing, yet, there are a few principles that form the foundation of every great design. It is these user experience principles that make the interaction of the user with a website exactly how a designer wants it to be – delightful.

If you are new to design, you should make it a point to have these principles at your fingertips. You should attempt to align these principles with your design practice. It will help you create a great website design; something that every designer strives for.

The better the user experience you provide, the better your SEO will perform.

One of the common principles that you will find at the junction of user experience and SEO is the speed of the website. The more quickly your website loads, the better. You can use a tool like website checker for a site speed test.

You can find the other user experience principles below.

Learnable interface

The first user experience principle is Krug’s First Law of Usability — “Don’t make me think”.

We have all heard how a website should be easy to use. But what exactly does it mean? According to Krug’s law, you should attempt to design your website in such a way that your user doesn’t have to think twice about what they are supposed to do. Make your interface self-explanatory.

You need to understand that your user has developed some habits over the years he or she has been using the websites. We know that an arrow or a hamburger icon is a menu bar (thank you, Facebook!).

We have all heard how a website should be easy to use. But what exactly does it mean? According to Krug’s law, you should attempt to design your website in such a way that your user doesn’t have to think twice about what they are supposed to do. Make your interface self-explanatory.

You need to understand that your user has developed some habits over the years he or she has been using the websites. We know that an arrow or a hamburger icon is a menu bar (thank you, Facebook!).

These are our mental modes. As a user, we have an idea of how certain things work on a website. You should adhere to these mental modes (at least in some cases). It will be easy for users to learn how to navigate your website.

For example, keep your navigation bar at the top, somewhere where it’s easy to locate and access, just like most other websites. You can place relevant tabs in your navigation bars and hide the less important ones in subcategories.

Adhering to mental modes does not mean you should avoid testing. Test your designs to be sure about your audience and to steer clear of assumptions.

Easy language

Using fancy words will only lead to making the process prolonged and your aim as a designer should be to quicken up the process.

It is important that you add language that is simple and clear to understand. The more easily your user understands the language, the more quickly will they be able to reach their end goal. In fact, your attempt should be to use language that even a 6th grader would understand.

Using simple language also allows users to finish tasks with accuracy. Now, remember that today, users hardly have time or patience on their hands. Using industry jargon and complex terms will only act as a hindrance, leading to frustrating the user.

This simplicity is especially needed for error messages and your CTAs. If you are getting a form filled and the user leaves a mandatory section blank, it would obviously pop an error message. Keep the language here minimal. Suppose you need their card information, your error message should just be ‘*CVV is required.

Your CTAs should be according to your audience. This just means that if your audience prefers something catchy, use a catchy and descriptive CTA. But if they want something direct, just use a simple and straightforward CTA.

Content relevance

We often stumble across websites because we are in search of solutions. If we find what we are looking for as soon as we land on the website, it offers us delight. Otherwise, we are just left disappointed and frustrated.

Similarly, when your users visit your website, they should be able to find the content they are looking for in terms of relevance. It is one of the important principles to ensure that your content is precise and o the point.

Also, you can ensure ease of access to this content by adding categories to your menu and navigational items.

Suppose you are a store that sells online products. You should categorize your products according to their popularity. Your most popular products should take the extreme left place on the navigation bar or the top spot in the drop-down menu.

If your customer is in search of the most popular items and the correct content related to those products is the first thing they come across, it will offer a good user experience.

Minimalism

We have already discussed how a user is in search of something, which could be in the form of information or a product when they visit your website.

To ensure that they have a great experience, you should attempt to remove the barriers that will make it longer for them to reach their final goal. This is where a minimum design will be more relevant.

You should get rid of all the additional and irrelevant elements that might distract the user and get them off track. You should attempt to only include the information or products that the customer needs to see at that moment along with the navigation options to make it easy to go through the website.

If you have a hotel website to design, you should certainly select a remarkable hero image and videos beautifully expressing different stories. But you should not hide away the ‘Book Now’ button behind all of this. Otherwise, it will prolong the process and distract your user.

Keep your website design intuitive and simple. It will go a long way.

Touch-friendly

Clickable elements in a website are what help transform it from being ordinary to extraordinary. Such elements are crucial to ensure efficiency.

When you plan your design in a manner that there is no additional or irrelevant content on a web page, you can easily have enough space to make sure the size of those elements (buttons, the toggle buttons, dropdown lists, etc.) with which the users will interact is sufficiently large.

One important thing to keep in mind is that the size of your button should at least be larger than the diameter of an average thumb (approximately 15mm).

The more touch-friendly elements you add, the better user experience you will offer to your audience.

Relevant information architecture

Information architecture is how you structure content on your website. It is the well-structured information architecture that ensures the flow and ease of access to the content present on your website.

This proper sorting of content allows you to ensure that your customers are not lost or confused when they visit your website. A proper information architecture ensures it’s easy and efficient to navigate your website.

You should sort your information architecture before you start designing. This will help you stay on track and also allow you to get rid of any irrelevant content.

Conclusion

To conclude, we can say it’s the little things that matter to ensure a good user experience. Providing relevant information, keeping the website minimalistic, and reducing the number of clicks to achieve a goal is just a few of the many ways for you to ensure your users have a good time navigating your website.

 

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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