Meeting point between usability and style


The latest trend in web design is minimalism and flat design. By “flat,” we mean plain, unadorned buttons, links, and menus. No raised edges or drop shadows, no fancy borders or glassy icons. If your forms on your site look this way, congratulations – you’re part of the latest hip design trend! But you have to be careful not to chase away customers when you simplify the visuals too much.

This article at A List Apart talks about just the sort of case we’re making here. For instance, they use the example of two actions on a form, ‘submit’ and ‘cancel’, which look identical. But to someone in a hurry who doesn’t want to think too hard, making the two visually distinct by giving the default action a different color will give them that small cognitive nudge.

True, you don’t want to distract the user with a bunch of noisy whistles and bells. But, as that article is pointing out, we might have swung too far the other way, until we’re taking information away from the user. We should always remember, particularly with doing business on the web, that making the process as easy and quick to navigate as possible helps increase conversions. Read More

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Mobile design vs standard web design

We have a new age of handheld mobile devices, including smartphones, pads, and tablets. Yet many of our design ideas still come from the old world Internet populated entirely by computers and laptops. If your site hasn’t had a makeover in more than five years, it’s as good as closed as far as the mobile web is concerned. Here’s a list of ways your site needs to be improved to meet the mobile user’s needs:

  • Fast load times. Unlike computer users, mobile web users just do not have the time to stand around waiting for your site or app to load. Keep the bandwidth way, way down from what you used to load, and users will come back more often.
  • Limit text data fields. For instance, instead of making each user fill out their life history to sign up with you, let them auto-sign-in with Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Disqus, and so on.
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What is user experience web design?


User experience design, or UX, UXD or UED, is a web design and development principal that places full importance on design practices that are centred around the user. This involves using specific techniques that aim to result in a design that adheres to the common behavioral practices of the intended target audience of the website. Good user experience web design should meet both the goals and desires of the users, as well as the goals of the company or entity behind the website.

The user is the central concern when it comes to UX. It greatly assists designers and clients in working together when it comes to making changes and new developments to a website. When both parties agree that the design should focus on the user, personal preferences can be put aside in favor of a more common sense and logical approach.

Rather than coming up with a web design that simply looks pretty, as can so often happen when a new site is designed either with or without input from the client, a UX design approach means that the design comes together based on the problems that have been identified in the planning and research process. This means that the overall purpose of every aspect of the site should be considered and thought about in detail before any aspect of the design is undertaken. Read More

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