A fairly new addition to the pantheon of web design, designing sites for a mobile device doesn’t veer too far away from those essential principles of all web design. You’re going to want your site to look professional, gone are the days when you could get away with having a simplistic layout, you also want… Read more »
In recent years, the use of incorporating animation and stop-motion into web design has been on the increase. Initially taking shape in the early 2000s, with designers using flash extensions, the methods of incorporation have become a lot more simple with time; you can now buy website templates with the ability to use animation with… Read more »
A well designed website is what gets customers interested, not the actual products themselves. Now, stay with us here, you might think that the products you’re offering are what will secure a sale, but the product is only a small part of gaining a sale. Sure, an established brand can have a site where it’s… Read more »
In our last post in this series, we introduced A/B testing—a popular means of testing different design variables in order to gain greater insight into site visitor behaviour and, ultimately, develop long-term effective development practices. To recap, A/B testing involves testing two different design elements, such as copy, navigation, visuals, calls to action, and more,… Read more »
Otherwise known as split testing, A/B testing is commonly used to compare and contrast different versions of a design side-by-side in order to work out the most effective strategies for branding, website optimisation, and most importantly, conversion. Many A/B tests tend to focus on comparisons between single variables at a time in order to establish… Read more »
In our last post, we explored some of the ways in which it is possible to design your site’s navigation with human and social psychology in mind. Dr. Susan Weinschenk (PhD) produced 10 broad principles of UX design with people’s mental and psychological reactions in mind, and we looked at how the first few of… Read more »
In our last post, we talked about how the way you use links on your site fundamentally affects the site’s relationship with search engines (who hold the keys to web traffic). Done well, internal linking makes your site more navigable, which makes it easier for the likes of Google et al. to ‘trawl’ through all… Read more »
Search engine optimisation, or SEO, seems to be the phrase at the tip of everybody’s tongue these days. Using a range of complex, opaque algorithms, SEO has supposedly helped to monetise good content and reward ‘good sites’ through boosted search engine rankings. SEO experts constantly reiterate the importance of things like metadata, shareability, regular content,… Read more »
Microsites: for you? Getting your site right is difficult. Not only do you have to contend with the many aspects of design in order to make the desired impact, you also have to ensure regular, quality content is produced in order to secure vital hits and traffic for your products from elsewhere on the web…. Read more »
As we discussed last time, emotion is a powerful tool in web design. Different elements of design, from colour schemes and photography, can be used to influence a user’s interaction with your site in a certain way. An emotionally engaging site is a powerful site. Emotion-oriented design isn’t just about crafting a particular response from… Read more »
An important element of developing an application is conveying usability through the interface for users of the product. Users need to feel that the application has been developed to meet their needs through extensive market research, as well as finding it simple and straightforward to use.
Too often, however, developers go overboard from a design point of view, concentrating on making their interface designs artistic masterpieces with an array of colours, rather than consider a practical design process. A good application can often be interpreted without the use of instruction manuals, simply from the icons used in interface design. The design should be as intuitive as possible. This can help to reduce costs in the long run, as well as increase the application’s popularity.
Items or icons that have a logical connection should be grouped together on the interface to show users that they are connected or have features in common. It helps to familiarise between the icons and not mistake one function for another. You can use several methods, including boxing groups together or a simple use of white space.
It is not a good idea to create busy user interfaces. While it can be tempting to show off everything that your application can do, crowded screens are difficult to understand and negotiate. A rule of thumb is not to increase the overall density of a single screen by 40 per cent. You can go up to 60 per cent when grouping a “local” set of icons together.
Making your application work in a uniform way is extremely important: if, for example, when you click on one item in a set of icons, a certain function appears, then something similar should occur in another set of icons.
The application’s coIour scheme is of prime importance. The different colours in the icons should “go” well together. This includes the colours of any wording and labelling in or around the icons.
You may want to consider making your application suitable for colour-blind users as well. Using colour in your application means you should be aware of the contrast rule. It is an obvious rule, but one that can cause disaster if not followed. Your application should be readable, so use dark text on light backgrounds and dark on light. There is enough contrast between blue and white to make it readable; blue and red, on the other hand, can end up merging into purple-looking blurs.
Users of the application should be able to interpret icons in a manner that is relevant to the spoken and written language they are familiar with. People of some cultures, notably Western language users, read from left to right, and top to bottom, but this is not necessarily the case for every language.
There is probably not a generic format you can use, but it is worth considering some variations, or even tweaking the final interface design to make it accessible on an international level.