How do we define whether the solution is a good or bad experience? Often, the definition is really subjective. It depends on the product, the functionalities and, most importantly, the users, who it is crucial to understand by discovering their needs and pain points by conducting user research. Nevertheless, there is a lot more that we can do to make sure that the solution we are working on will come out as usable and meaningful to the users as possible.
How can we do that? Well, simply by following some of the principles already known in the UX field that have already been tested and proved to work. I have chosen a few of them that I think are easy to follow and should always be kept in mind when designing. Let’s get to it.
Jakob’s Law states that users spend most of their time on other websites, therefore they prefer the website to work the same way as any other website they’re using. The main takeaway here is that designers should rather stick to the usual way of designing solutions instead of trying to come up with something original or too peculiar.
By providing the users with the solution they’re already familiar with, you’re reducing their cognitive load, which is the amount of thought a particular task requires, and thus making their experience seamless and undisturbed. Before starting to work on designs it’s always good to start with looking for some references or benchmarking other websites.
In order to simplify the decision making process for the user you should take Hick’s Law into consideration. The law states that the more options available to a user, the longer it takes to decide on one of them. In other words, we can decrease the time a user spends on a specific task by simply reducing the amount of options.
A very similar principle that we could think of here and one that might be easier to remember is the KISS principle (Keep it Simple, Stupid), which says that designs should be kept as simple as possible and should avoid complexity at all costs in order to ensure the ease of use.
Maintaining consistency makes things easier and allows the users to understand the product much quicker without having to constantly learn and adopt new things. Products that are consistent in behavior, visual layer or even interaction can be picked up much faster by new users, thus perceived in a positive way.
By applying consistency principle in your design you spare users’ confusion or even frustration over something they do not understand.
“Consistency is one of the most powerful usability principles: when things always behave the same, users don’t have to worry about what will happen.” — Jakob Nielsen
Visual hierarchy is a way of arranging information on a website depending on their importance. It can be controlled by using typography, colors, contrast or grouping of elements. An organized and well-planned website structure enhances the user experience and affects its functionality, allowing users to simply scroll through and scan the website to easily find what they came looking for or what we would want them to take away from the website.
The aesthetic-usability effect is defined as a phenomenon in which users perceive an attractive design more usable and intuitive, as opposed to a less aesthetically pleasing alternative. It means that they have a positive emotional response to a good-looking website, thus any minor usability issues are being ignored. Read more about how we do UX and UI here.
Taking the above into consideration we need to keep in mind that it is not only the usability and functionality that make for successful products, but also its visual layer, which undoubtedly is the first impression the users get when entering the website. Need help with UX-design, contact us below!
Regardless of how you do UX you always need to think about
- The discovery
- Following these principles