Usability Web design

User Experience

By Mainak Biswas September 05, 2007 - 1,569 views

Of late there is pressing demands of kinds of professionals who suggests user experience and are called user experience experts. But what is user experience? A common idea is, behind a website’s success two factors contribute; namely great design and flaw less script. The third perspective is often ignored and this is the most vital aspect of a website. It is called user experience. A great design can lure you to stay glued, some good dynamic HTML can make you feel elated and flawless code can add joy in the exploration of the web site. But what if the messages, graphics present in the website are confusing or ambiguous? A small example will help you. Say in a shopping cart after adding an item to cart, the message flashed is ‘Thanks for buying this product’. Will it not confuse you, when you actually are not buying the item but adding it to cart?

Some eye-catching designs sometimes found to be totally ignorant in terms of user perspective. I often come across blogs which have light colored fonts against dark background. A blog is meant for reading and if it is not soothing at all, you will not be able to concentrate leaving a bad user experience. CAPTCHA is one other case where more than 50% of websites only harass visitors. CAPTCHA is to block automatic form submission through script and it is often distorted so that electronically it cannot be read. Often websites remain ignorant of this fact and make CAPTCHA text so complex and distorted that one need to hire a calligraphist to decipher it. All these only leave a long sustaining bad impression in your mind and whenever you visit the website it haunts you in the back of your mind.

The wikipedia definition of user experience states that ‘User experience design is a subset of the field of experience design which pertains to the creation of the architecture and interaction models which impact a user’s perception of a device or system. The scope of the field is directed at affecting “all aspects of the user’s interaction with the product: how it is perceived, learned, and used’. For every successful product or service there is a context and content of website is built upon it. The content and context is enjoyed by the user of that product or service. If we go by user perspective and satisfaction level and if our website answers in positive for all the questions asked below, and then only we can claim it to be satisfying user experience.

  • When the user first visits the website (and every time) is it accessible to him?
    If it is accessible then can he find information easily?
  • The information he gets, is it useful?
  • Is all the information he gets credible enough? If he ever gets wrong information, he will never trust you.
  • When he browses the website, then all the messages or helps he gets, are relevant?
  • If you providing any text, message etc in any area, then are the placement of such texts, images desirable?
  • Is there any flaw exists in the usability of monetary transaction in your website? The user will never come back if he is harassed with payments.
  • Is the website overall bug free?
  • Is it eye catching?
  • And last but not least how unique is its service or product? Are all these information valuable?

Proper mingling of content and graphics in the light of context will draw visitors to your website and accessibility and usability will keep them loyal and contented.

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