User experience is at the core of product design. Imagine, when you build a house, you have to make sure that the foundation is proper. If the foundation is right you can do a lot of experiments with the construction – you can build, destroy, redo the stories and stairs as you want. That is why you need to consult an experienced architect to get it designed.
Same holds true when you develop a website or application. The basic functionality has to be integrated with the product in such a way that the end-user finds it easy to use. Once the basics are in place, you can do a lot of experiments with design and add-on features.
Let’s look at some of principles of user experience design that can help to come up with a great product.
Visually Differentiate Varieties of Functionalities
Designers should identify the clusters of functionalities and then group them properly. You might wonder, how can functionalities be same or different? It’s true that no two functionalities can be same but they can be related to the same purpose or a part of one bigger task. For example, Signup, Login and Forget Password – all these are related to account creation. That is the reason you would never see these three links separately placed on any website; they are always positioned one beside the other so that users can easily find them.
To group different types of functionality, designers can implement, top menu, side bars, tool bars, footers etc. Different types of links, buttons and instructive text can be placed at different places so that users can easily understand what to do next. The best part is, it allows you to control user behavior too.
There is enough room for creativity; however, make sure you do not break the conventions in order to be unique or unusual. That might backfire and your users might feel it odd to navigate the website or use the application.
Device Compatibility Greatly Influences User Experience
Gone are the days when desktop was the only device available to access internet. Now there are numerous devices available in the market; from smartphone, android phones, tablet, iPad to laptop and desktop – people can access internet from many devices with various screen sizes. Even some of the latest television sets allow users to connect to the internet too.
When you develop a website or an application, remember that people would access it from different devices. Test repeatedly and make sure the application works well across all possible devices. In case of website or web application, make sure it works properly in all the popular browsers as well. Some of the users might still be using older versions of the browsers; you have to make sure that the website or the application renders properly and functions in latest versions and few of the older versions of all the browsers.
Get Rid of Clutter, Not the Features
You have to keep it simple; that’s the key to success. However, do not compromise with the functionality or the features while making it simple. People prefer to use certain application because it helps them to solve certain problems or accomplish certain tasks. Hence, you have to make your application more rich in terms of functionality – but you have to make it simple and friendly in terms of experience.
The application might have hundreds of features, but users should not have any difficulty to use it. That’s the motto. Links that people use frequently, can be placed at a visible location; redundant text or buttons should be removed, space must be utilized properly; in short you have to try everything that you can do to make it simple and friendly.