If you're running a website, you need to make sure people can navigate your site in a way that makes sense. That may seem like Web Design 101, but there are plenty of sites that don't take user experience into account.
This is known as intuitive user interface design, and it's critical if you want users to visit your page. You've likely heard 'intuitive design' thrown around if you've spent any time on the web. But what exactly does it mean?
Intuition is our ability to understand something without the need to stop and think about it.
For instance, you're reading the words on this page. When you're done with this section, you'll scroll down to the next section intuitively.
But how exactly does intuition help web design, and how can your site benefit from it? Read on for some easy tips to create an intuitive user interface design!
The first task in creating great user interface design is something you do every day -- browse the web. It's time to get to surfing, and this time you're not procrastinating!
Believe it or not, your browsing habits will be your biggest asset in this situation. It's time to take stock of your daily Internet habits and do some critical thinking.
These are a few simple questions that will have a huge impact on the design or redesign of your user interface. Write these questions down somewhere and fill out the questions for each site you visit.
Try and get a good sample size of at least 5 to 10 websites. It's homework, sure, but it'll pay off in the long run.
Remember, we use visual clues to help us get around every single day. The Internet is no different.
If you're a business, do some sleuthing and look at your competitors' sites. What are they doing with their web pages, and how does their UI compare to yours?
If you're running a blog, your task will be much simpler. Head to your favorite blog and just look around.
As a business owner or employee, you practice empathy in a professional environment. Empathy allows us to see things from another's point of view, and it's your best asset when it comes to creating a new UI.
It may seem obvious, but not enough developers put themselves in their user's shoes. If this seems abstract to you, don't worry, we've got the perfect suggestion coming up, but at least give it a shot.
Now that you've viewed some other sites, look at your own. Fill out the same questionnaire from the last step, but from the point of view of someone browsing your site.
What about your website needs changing? What about your site works?
You've likely already got a list of things in mind, but if not, take this time to consider what you'd like to see change.
Be critical. Your user certainly will, so put aside your pride and get honest.
If your site can't be accessed via a mobile browser, it may as well be offline. These days, mobile traffic is such an important factor that it can easily make or break a site.
How are you incorporating responsiveness into your site?
You'll need to consider responsive web design when thinking about your user interface. If you haven't already, check out your website from your phone or tablet browser. How's it looking?
If you're not seeing parity between mobile and desktop experiences, make some changes. After all, mobile UI is every bit as important as its desktop big brother.
And even if you're using an app instead of a mobile site, scalability is still important. Be sure to include a link to your mobile app on your home page if one isn't present already.
Make sure your user interface design isn't too cluttered. Too many words or ugly images can actually scare away users.
If you're new to web design, it can be tempting to create a site that's cluttered with plenty of photos or icons. Don't fall into this pitfall!
It may seem tempting and like an easy way to pad out your page, but you're doing more harm than good.
Obviously, the web is a visual medium, so the use of photos or graphics is perfectly acceptable. In fact, correct use of images can be great for a company's website.
Make sure you're not substituting great design for too many images.
Your company's logo should be somewhere on the homepage, preferably in the top left corner. This tends to be where people's eyes gravitate first.
The last thing you'll want to do before hitting 'publish' on that new design is to get some feedback. Like with any other creative task, getting some extra pairs of eyes to look over your work can be helpful.
It's one thing to have your coworkers or employees look over the new design. You'll definitely want to make sure they can easily navigate the new UI design.
Setting up a Usability test is easy; you only need 5 users to determine the issues that people will stumble upon when using your site.
Watch them as they navigate the new design.
Is it easy for them?
Are they having trouble?
If they are, you've still got some kinks to work out.
Great user interface design should be accessible by anyone, so the more opinions you can get the better.
There you have it!
5 quick and easy ways to make sure your website's user interface design is up to snuff.
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