Usability in web design, or how to evaluate your site from the point of view of the user
From the author: if you are visiting a site for the first time, then this event can be compared to traveling in an unfamiliar area: the local people, of course, are easily guided in it, but for you, the presence of signs or other signs is vital. And no matter how beautiful places and sights the new city abounds for you, getting lost in an unfamiliar place is not the most pleasant feeling, especially if you came here for a certain purpose, and visiting architectural monuments is not yet included in your plans.
The situation with the site is approximately the same: you visit it in order to purchase any product, but because of the inconvenient navigation, spend much more time on the purchase. And if you knew the structure of the site, you could do it in one minute. That is why the convenience of using a site or usability in web design is one of the main tasks of every web designer.
How to look at the site through the eyes of an unauthorized visitor?
Probably, everyone was faced with the problem of finding the right information or acquiring certain products from the website. And if the navigation of the online store is easier to understand and intuitive, it would be possible to avoid such difficulties.
We all know that the best service is that service that is invisible, and in the service sector this is one of the basic rules. But first things first.
Even if you are not a usability maestro in web design, and just recently started the difficult path of a web designer, you still realize over time that the site for visitors, first of all, should be convenient and functional, and not just beautiful.
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And if you had the honor to talk with other web designers, then you have already seen that the concept of beauty is always subjective, as different people almost always have different tastes.
Hardly anyone will like a site on which to search for the necessary information you need to go through a variety of links and almost learn the menu structure. Most likely, it will be easier for the user to find information in other sources. Therefore, everyone who claims the honorary title of web designer should be able to combine design and usability.
But not so simple. It turns out that the perception of usability can also be subjective, because where the creator of the site seems to be simple and understandable, it may seem confusing and illogical to a third-party user. Let’s finally get to the point and consider what factors influence the perception of the resource by third-party users, and also find out how to correctly combine usability and design.
What factors influence site perception?
1. The speed of loading web pages.
We are well aware that information is valuable, especially if you know where, when and how to apply it. This is a valuable product, therefore, experiencing certain difficulties when trying to get the necessary information is a completely normal phenomenon.
But we were incredibly lucky: we live in a century called information, and we are already used to the fact that at any moment we can get the knowledge we need from the Great and Mighty Internet in seconds. But if your site loads more than five to seven seconds, then most likely users will prefer to go to another site. Therefore, web page optimization should be given special attention.
2. Conformity of themes and design.
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From a beautiful ceramic cup made in oriental style, Chinese tea will be tastier than from an ordinary glass, is not it? Not true. The taste qualities of tea will be the same, but we want the form to match the content. If you drink Chinese tea from the appropriate dishes, then our perception of tea will become more holistic.
In web design, the same principle applies: when you get to your site, a guest needs to understand at a glance what this resource is about, what it sells, or what kind of service it provides. Nothing says more eloquently than the logo, background and style in which the design is made.
3. Visual presentation of content.
Why is newspaper text divided into columns? In order to make it easier for the reader to perceive the information, because long text printed in one line is easier to read, and most importantly, to perceive. The format of the web pages is different from the newspaper, but we are faced with the task of conveying certain information to the user and making it the most convenient way for him (you are a future professional!)
To do this, you do not need to imitate the newspaper’s text design (although, in some cases, this may be appropriate), but to provide the guest of your resource with certain “clues” is absolutely necessary.
Make sure that the guest traveling through the text of your site has something to “catch on” and what to “push off” to continue his journey. To do this, you need to pay special attention to the sections, subheadings, as well as the size, color and font of the text.