User experience refers to the usefulness, ease of use and pleasure associated with using a product or service. Whether planned or not, the user experience will happen. And, if not well thought out, it will result in a strange and disconcerting experience. We must pay particular attention to cognitive and sensory design, as we do not communicate with the user only through explicit content. It is in the user experience design that we build the message that we are going to convey between the lines.
Less is more.
The pages of a website should not have too much information and the different elements should be organized into categories, so that the user can easily find what he wants with the minimum of effort. A page overloaded with information conveys disorganization and lack of professionalism, in addition to confusing the user. So the website design should be simple and the information should be well selected.
Know user habits.
What would you think if you found FAQs in the top left corner of a web page? Wouldn’t that be disconcerting? If users are used to finding FAQ’s and contacts at the bottom of the page, finding one of these sections in the upper left corner would cause some strangeness. A good website should be intuitive and easy to use, so that the user is able to do what he wants with as little effort as possible. To understand what is intuitive and what is not, we must put ourselves in the user’s shoes and understand what kind of path we consider normal and fluid. Basically, we have to anticipate where users are expecting to find things and what they are expecting them to do. For example, if a button doesn’t look like a button, users won’t assume they can click it. Likewise, if something looks like a button, people will try to click it and get confused if it’s not a button. By this logic, the most important and most commonly searched sections should be more prominent, while more specific topics should be less salient.
Use the right symbology.
Using symbols works great, as long as they contribute to simplifying and making the experience more intuitive. How would you look for the contacts section on a website? You would probably be expecting to come across an envelope or telephone symbol. Signaling this section through a rectangle with written lines would no longer be very effective. Although it can represent a letter or an email, people are not used to seeing this symbol associated with “contacts”. It is necessary to understand the symbology that is most salient in the minds of users, always with the aim of creating a fluid experience.
What are you expecting to happen when you click a button? Surely you are waiting for something to happen! It is essential that the user receives some type of feedback whenever he performs a function on the website. For example, when the mouse hovers over a button, it must change appearance to give the feeling that you can actually click on it. When pressed, the button should make a sound, change color or become bold. Otherwise, the user will be confused and won’t understand if he really clicked or not, or he might think that maybe the button doesn’t work. Likewise, when the user submits a contact form, it is important that he receives feedback, such as a submission sound or a confirmation message, in order to avoid uncertainty. If these small details are not well worked out, users will have the feeling that the website has flaws in its functioning.
Thus, we must ensure that the user experience is built in such a way as to make things easier and more pleasant for the user, not requiring a great deal of effort on his part.