When a user visits a website, certain elements will make them feel comfortable about using it. Potential customers will make a judgement about your website within seconds, so your chosen website design company will follow a number of key rules to optimise the user experience.
All elements of the user interface should be clear and intuitive. If the user is unsure what to expect from any of them, such as a misleading or obscure icon, they may not have the confidence to click — they’re more likely to move onto another site, that has an interface that seems more familiar or easier to navigate.
The user needs to be guided toward the action you would prefer them to take. For example, if that action is to provide some information then the text field in which you would like them to type needs to be clearly labelled. It sounds obvious, but explaining exactly what’s required from the user will only improve the overall user experience.
In much the same vein, a direct invitation to do something is likely to yield greater results than simply presenting the opportunity. If you would like the user to enter their comments, a simple instruction such as ‘Enter your message here.’ will encourage that action.
An important part of the web designer’s role is to ensure that user interface elements are clear; any functionality should always be intuitive and obvious to the user. For example, placing controls close to the element they affect makes good design sense.
If the interface provides feedback on interactions, the user will feel confident they’ve achieved the desired outcome. An example of this might be a message such as ‘Your email has been sent’; this provides clear confirmation and the user can continue.
These five steps are vital elements in user interface design. An agency offering professional design services should adhere to these principles in order to provide you with the best solution, allowing you to do the same for your own customers.