In web design it is critical to know your user. Some things to think about when learning about your user is age, gender, class, if they are on the go or stationary, and location (Li). For example, if your user is an older group there would be a larger font needed where if your user is a younger demographic it is ok to use something a bit smaller. Another key part of creating great user experience is knowing the user flow. The user flow focuses on what the eye is most drawn to. What is the user most likely to click on first? “Understanding how your target users interact with websites is crucial for your overall success” (Li). Lastly you need to do thorough testing! After creating something that is aesthetically appealing it is imperative to see if it is successful. Getting true unbiased opinions is key to the success of your design. “A good user experience is truly everything…” (Li). The creator must become detached from the design and allow the users to tell you what is and what is not working.
A successful web design needs to be useful, usable, desirable, valuable, accessible, findable, and creditable. Peter Morville goes into detail describing how these characteristics make a good user experience. The information or content needs to be relevant to the topic, it needs to be easy to find/navigate, and the user needs to trust that you are giving them valid information. Without these key characteristics the web design will fall short of being successful. One example of a great user experience is Instagram. The designers knew it was going to be mainly used on a phone. Instead of making the user reach across the phone to “like” an image, Instagram implemented the double click anywhere on the picture. This is great because most people use one hand to scroll through the page. Instagram takes their user into account while keeping the app easy to navigate and up to date.
Some characteristics that might stop your web design from being great is a slow-loading site, stock photos, unnecessary complexity, infrequently updated content, and a lack of engagement (Kumar). If a site takes too long to load the user is more likely to close the page and move on to another one. While using images and multimedia is great on a web design the designer needs to learn how to speed up the site. If a web design uses stock photos it can change how people look at your business. The users want to see your product or your experience they do not want to see a collection of stock photos. There is no reason to have 7 tabs with 3 pages under each tab if it is going to bring you to the same pages. CONDENSE the pages. Give the user the information they need not excess information. Don’t forget to keep your user engaged. The best way to do this is use social media plugins. This allows the user to feel like they are interacting with your site. Lastly, continuously update your content. If you content is not up to date you are losing your user’s trust. They will not believe the information on the site.