Common buzzwords you’ll hear is that a website must be “user friendly”, “easy to use”, and “intuitive”. What does it mean for a website to be user friendly or intuitive? One of my favourite quotes about design that I feel answers this question is:
“Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” – Joe Sparano
Bad design is very easy to spot. If you have ever given up on a website or an app because you can’t get to where you want to be, you have experienced bad design. On the other hand, if you come into a website or application for the first time and you are able to find what you need without much thought, you have experienced great design.
The human brain is wired to look for and find patterns. Once people get accustomed to seeing the same patterns in applications or websites we grow to expect it out of others. Designers are able to achieve good UX design partly by understanding their audience and following these patterns. For example, if you are expecting to log in to your account, your eyes would immediately search around the top of the page for either some log in input or a button. Can you imagine if you had to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to log in to Facebook? Some people might not even think to search that far down.
User testing and research has allowed for better understanding of how people interact with their technology. For example, by seeing the heat map of the Google search it is apparent that most people’s focus is on the top few links and their attention slowly recedes as they progress down the page. This heat map tells us that links closest to the top of the page gets the most attention, so if people want high traffic through their website they have to try to be at the top of that list.
User Experience has increasingly become more of a big deal in and out of technology because the experience part to any service is crucial to gaining and retaining your customer base. Designing a magical experience goes beyond the interaction customers may have with technology. It expands to the design of the space, art, food, etc. From the moment our clients enter the Accelerated Solution Environment (ASE), we have designed and tailored the experience to our clients. This is all possible by designing with the audience in mind. So, the next time you’re working on creating your new masterpiece, thinking about who your audience is will help you achieve greater impact.