When you conceive a website or app idea, it becomes your baby. Just like a parent raising a child (okay, maybe slightly different), it’s hard for startups to accept criticism on points of a project’s development.
For example, with parenting, a key milestone for any child is his or her social interaction; if the child fails to meet the average benchmarks, he or she may need additional attention — this is hard for some parents to accept. The same is true for web design or app architecture. If users can’t interface with it, then you may need to revisit your original plan — whether you want to or not.
For this reason, user experience is a key aspect of web application development. Understanding what your visitors really want will ensure your target audience is never alienated and your pet project is “socially well-adjusted.”
What are the Basics of User Experience?
You may have heard the term “intuitive” quite a lot regarding website and app development. Well, we’re here to tell you: It’s not just another buzzword. It refers to the natural ways in which a user might instinctually interact with your technological tool. Enter: the user experience (UX).
There are three pillars that support UX and drive intuitiveness. As you develop your business idea, consider how each of the following factors are or aren’t incorporated in your project’s execution:
- Usability – Does your app work better on one OS (operating system) than another? Does your website feature poorly coded, bandwidth-heavy content that often crashes users’ browsers? How about the overall layout — does it make sense; does it flow? Usability accounts for how well a user can interact with the most basic parts of your site.
- Findability – Does your website feature an overly complicated menu with multiple layers of page navigation? Do pages feature “breadcrumbs” so users can easily find their way back without navigating back home? Is your content indexable and ready to be searched both on and off the site (via Google or other search engines)? Findability refers to how well users can locate necessary information within your website or app.
- Accessibility – Is the content readable? Can users adjust text or image size to suit their device? Are the colors not only visually pleasing, but lending to content visibility? Accessibility reflects how well common users, as well as those with disabilities, can view or receive your website or app’s information.
Examples of Poor UX Design
While all UX is not created equally, there are some standard practices to avoid. While we’ve thankfully overcome the days of the “dancing webpage” a la the animated gif, many web designers and developers still make fundamental mistakes when it comes to visual elements and more. Here are some general examples of poor UX design trends:
Forcing your users to play nice. From lengthy forms to elaborate video splash pages, forcing your users to endure your excessive attributes will never sit well. Stick to the basics and provide as much information as possible — upfront — without making your users work for it.
Bullying them with advertising. Pop up advertising, animated banners, free apps that force users to watch videos before accessing content: these are all ways businesses bully users with advertising. Sure it may work for the big brands, but until your website or app has an established reputation, choose a subtler approach. If you’re not sure which type of advertisement you should stick with, consider A/B testing to try out marketing alternatives without pressuring your users every time they visit.
Bombarding them with the latest design trends. There’s no harm in trying out trends but, as with fashion, less is more. Overwhelming users with multiple new age designs is not only visually over stimulating, but it puts strain on a user’s browser or OS, as well. In an ideal world, all users would update their devices. The reality: users rarely do. So the more you include the latest trends in HTML5, CSS3, etc., the greater the chance your technology will end up buggy or downright unusable.
Develop a UX Strategy
Implementing expert UX is a process — one that starts with getting to know your audience. That’s because the better you know your visitors, the easier it is to figure out what they’ll want from your content. At Oyova, we’ll work with you to develop the ultimate UX strategy by addressing everything from general interactivity to your project’s overall design.
Need help developing your user experience strategy? Give us a call today and find out how we can help.