Whether you are planning the design of your new website or a re-design of existing one SUSAN WEINSCHENK, a blogger for UX Magazine recently wrote an article about the 5 worst UX mistakes to avoid.
Despite the fact the user experience of websites has increasingly improved over the years, Susan believes that there are common pitfalls in your design that don’t take into account the user and his agenda.
Weinschenk acknowledges the importance of the information architecture of the website and the layout grid of your pages, though she also emphasizes the importance of the small interactions which many times lead to a good or bad experience. “We decide whether a website is usable and useful when we are trying to complete those micro-interactions.”
Her example of this revolves around a non-profit agency website she recently reviewed. Despite the great navigation and content, “there were frustrating donation controls that didn’t work intuitively, and a screen that refreshed with every action” and in the end it compromised the experience.
As much your home page need attention, the author advises “not to put time and energy into designing and redesigning the homepage”, but to ”use your analytics to see where people are really entering your site and then making sure those pages are the best they can be.
Susan prompts you to answer a couple of very important questions: “What is the main way you communicate with visitors to your website? What percentage of your content is text versus imagery, audio or video?” and then to craft and decide how much content do you really need to rely on.
Testing the demographic of your audience and deciding for what generation you should be designing for is really crucial. “Research shows that there are generational differences in the expectations and mental models that people have about technology.” And at the end “you are in one generation, you can’t ever really understand how another generation thinks: that’s why you have to test”
The world has gone mobile and “yet” affirms Susan when we design we still tend to imagine one person sitting in front of a large desktop all alone in a quiet space. Unless you are sure that your target audience is visiting your website that way most of the time, you need to think about a multi-screen, active experience.
Although it is challenging to prototype a multi-screen or responsive experience or “to design a multi-screen and/or mobile-first website” the designer should make sure that are not stuck in the “one person, one desktop” mindset.
Are these some of your challenges? Do you think we missed some important ones? Tell us more and drop us a line
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