UXD: Respond to Your Users’ Needs
Setting up a website means you want others to see and use it. The goal therefore is not to express yourself in the most creative way, but to easily facilitate others to grasp what you are doing. This is especially important when your website floats in the realms of e-commerce.
A whole new sector has burgeoned around the users’ experience (abbreviated as UX). It’s about how a person feels when interfacing with a system. This could be a website, a web application or desktop software. User experience design (UXD) is the craft of analyzing and optimizing this experience.
It isn’t easy to find one-for-all principles, but there are a few general orientations that help maneuver through the UX jungle.
It’s not art
Let’s say you come up with an idea for the most brilliant, ground-breaking design for an e-commerce site that will change the way people interact with websites forever. If prior research has shown that your older user base prefers the comfort of existing interfaces as seen on other major retail pages, you’ll have to shelve the work of a genius until another day and create something that fits your customer’s preferences.
You don’t have to re-invent the wheel
If your online service is based on a CMS from a provider such as 1&1, then you are usually already well off. Their templates have been tested by a myriad of users. However, this doesn’t mean you can lean back as your business probably has specifications that must also be taken into account.
Change your perspective
When designing, think about real people, rather than generic ‘users’. People have goals, motivations and emotional needs. Try to learn as much as possible about them – for example, trawl surveys or usability testing – and try to see the world through a user’s eyes. Alter your perspective according to different users and their individual motivations for using your service, as well as their varying degrees of online savviness.
Keep it simple
Yes, this all-timer still rings true. The internet is a place clustered with distractions literally popping up around every corner. If you can offer a shortcut, use it. The longer road might offer nicer views, but if you are not able to present attractions at the scale of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, then you should opt for simplicity. If you’re in doubt, take Einstein’s advice: “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
Image source – hauskapellmeister
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