Like Steve Jobs once said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works”. With this line, he partially touched all the aspects of design like responsiveness and clarity. This should be taken as a mantra by all the aspirants who are into the web design and development industry.
A good understanding of principles of design and UX has become very important not just for the designer but also for the non-tech staffs of a company. I came across a term called micro-interaction and googled it to find that there is a website microinteractions.com.
After this, I came to know that micro-interactions are happening everywhere, every time and that too requires to be very fine in design and usability. Setting off or Snoozing alarm is one of the simplest forms of micro-interactions happening every day in our life. Imagine the snoozing process not being that simple, what if we had to solve a puzzle to snooze or set the alarm off.
Wait for a second..did I just gave you a product idea? Can’t there be an app that makes user solve a puzzle to snooze an alarm? The best thing it will do is get you off the bed for sure. That’s what alarms are for, right?
Well, let’s not go off the track. We are discussing the expectations of users every web designers must fulfill. The bottom line is your design must be pleasing to your users and easy to use at the same time. It should not be annoying, time-consuming, confusing or irritating.
Let’s look into those things that a user expects from a website
1. The Design.
Figure out who your target audiences are, what is their demography, this will help you narrow down the user expectations. Based on the target audience you can think or conceptualize your designs. Remember it should be an eye-pleasing experience for the users when browsing through your web pages.
2. Processes and micro processes
Every micro processes like signing up, log in, feedback or contact form should be as brief as possible. Responsive design which we are already aware of covers this aspect. Its said that when a user visits your website, he only has five seconds to decide whether to stay or bounce out. So those five seconds are very important and a website should be able to deliver its value in those first five seconds.
Every other aspect that reduces the users time to complete a process should be taken care of. Some are listed below for reference.
- Navigation: Do not overdo to make it look cheesy. Navigation should be clear and simple. Just a text to explain the link the users will go to should be enough.
- Autocomplete forms: Let browsers do some work for the users. Use autocomplete forms to save time.
- Contact Processes: Don’t make the contact process too long. Use a form, provide your email address and phone number.
- Registration Process: Asking too many information about a user is no more being loyal or courteous. An email address and phone number for verifying the registration should do the job.
3. Content Strategy
Although we’ve already discussed content strategy in the previous article, there can surely be something to discuss. To cover all issues briefly, some DOs for an effective content strategy would be:
- Follow the google webmaster tools and SEO principles.
- Provide quality contents that people really look for. Yes, viral contents work but fake ones never do the same thing. Do not sensationalize the content unless it really is.
- Limit the number of pages and make sure the messages in one page should not be repeated or duplicated in another.
- Content is always the King: The design and looks do not deliver the messages. If your content fails to communicate with your audience, the entire website and thus the company will suffer.
4. Website Features
Use clean and high-quality images on websites. Good images make the design shine out from the rest. Offer benefits that suit the visitors. Ensure your website is safe to visit. SSL certificate has been made mandatory. Viewers are skeptic about the website with no HTTPS URLs. Other important features would be:
- Consistency in Navigation Menus. Every page should have the same navigation
- A designer should be always consistent with the font and color. Too many colors with too many fonts are not considered good.
- Website Navigation Speed: Quicker the page loads, the minimum is the chances for a visitor to bounce out of the website.
- Having said that the contents should be managed in such a way to keeps the visitors engaged.
5. Sustainability & Upgradation
Design should be scalable. There should be a space for future compatibility. When the browser or the programming language upgrades, your website should also have an algorithm that it could support the latest versions of the language and browsers.
Its important for a designer to analyze its competitor’s web design skills and learn from them.
Also Read: Things to avoid