Designing a Better User Experience

Designing a Better User Experience

We've all visited sites that are completely cluttered and offer more distractions than assistance to the end-user. Designing a better user experience increases conversion, retention, and can significantly impact your brand. Finding equilibrium between design and usability can be tricky - sit in the middle of a web design meeting between designers and user experience managers and you will certainly here compelling cases for strong design vs. strong usability. Here a few simple tips to help you de-clutter a website and build a more positive user experience: 1. Write for the web. Write your content in an inverted pyramid beginning with the most important information first. Get to the point. Users should find information quickly. Also, utilize header content and bullet points, allowing users to scan content rather than read. 2. Place form labels inside input forms instead of to the left or above the form. By placing the label within the form field, you achieve the same result and save space while reducing clutter. 3. Use AJAX to lightbox image/graph enlargements instead of using old-school pop-up windows. Lighboxing forms or images meant to be enlarged looks better, works better, and is simple to implement using mootools or a similar script library. 4. Keep it simple. There are exceptions, but most users would prefer to have a simple, easy to navigate website where they can find information quickly and easily. Design is meant to create an emotional bond, but too many page elements and cluttered design can confuse visitors and drive them away. De-cluttering a site can be work, but simple changes can make a world of difference and provide a much better user experience. After all, sites should be designed for the visitor's use, not for the designer's personal portfolio. Hope this helps.