Friday, February 01, 2008

10 Principles Of Effective Web Design

An extensive and detailed article on web design ...

"Usability and the utility, not the visual design, determine the success or failure of a web-site. Since the visitor of the page is the only person who clicks the mouse and therefore decides everything, user-centric design has established as a standard approach for successful and profit-oriented web design. After all, if users can’t use a feature, it might as well not exist.

We aren’t going to discuss the implementation details (e.g. where the search box should be placed) as it has already been done in a number of articles; instead we focus on the main principles, heuristics and approaches for effective web design — approaches which, used properly, can lead to more sophisticated design decisions and simplify the process of perceiving presented information.

Please notice that

* you might be interested in the usability-related articles about 10 Usability Nightmares and 30 Usability Issues we’ve published before,
* we’ll cover more principles of effective design in our following posts. Therefore you might want to subscribe to our RSS-feed.

In order to use the principles properly we first need to understand how users interact with web-sites, how they think and what are the basic patterns of users’ behavior.

How do users think?

Basically, users’ habits on the Web aren’t that different from customers’ habits in a store. Visitors glance at each new page, scan some of the text, and click on the first link that catches their interest or vaguely resembles the thing they’re looking for. In fact, there are large parts of the page they don’t even look at.

Most users search for something interesting (or useful) and clickable; as soon as some promising candidates are found, users click. If the new page doesn’t meet users’ expectations, the Back button is clicked and the search process is continued.

* Users appreciate quality and credibility. If a page provides users with high-quality content, they are willing to compromise the content with advertisements and the design of the site. This is the reason why not-that-well-designed web-sites with high-quality content gain a lot of traffic over years. Content is more important than the design which supports it.
* Users don’t read, they scan. Analyzing a web-page, users search for some fixed points or anchors which would guide them through the content of the page.

Users don’t read, they scan. Notice how “hot” areas abrupt in the middle of sentences. This is typical for the scanning process."    (Continued via Smashing Magazine)    [Usability Resources]

Scanning Pattern - Usability, User Interface Design

Scanning Pattern

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

<< Home
.