The concept of user centric web design is all about common sense really – designing your site and working through each development phase with the end user in mind. Makes complete sense right? Because when it comes down to it, what use is a grand invention when no one has any remote idea of how to operate it or even any idea on what it is supposed to do?
Having a well established user centric design cycle that factors in every stage of the design and development process, ensures your end product is not only going to satisfy your client and their customers, but be a long-term, viable and profit-making venture. It ensures you are creating something that matches the end user’s wants and needs in a nicely bundled package.
Mapping out the customer journey establishes a solid foundation that connects the interactions your customer is making on your site and their emotional needs throughout their entire user experience. UX Matters illustrates this through the creation of customer journey maps. By breaking down your customer’s needs and emotional experiences they may encounter when visiting your site, your design will ensure to take these variables into consideration, with the end result being a site that factors in the human emotional impacts on the decision-making process.
Joleen, a User Experience Specialist in Adrenalins UX team highlights the main principal of web design:
“User centric design is about helping shape a product to a user’s goals. If a user can’t achieve their goal, it doesn’t matter how desirable your product is, but if you can make their goal achievable, and the process enjoyable, then they’ll spread the word for you”.
Adrenalin has identified four golden rules of user centric design that set a solid foundation to optimise user centric design of your website.
The four rules
Abiding by the golden four rules of user centric design will ensure you stay on track to delivering websites that are visually and functionally superior whilst addressing the complete user experience. By addressing the complete user experience, you are checking in with the end user at every design and development phase to ensure it meets their needs.
Rule 1: Optimum visibility
Keeping it simple ensures all key elements are obvious to the end user at a glance. Keeping your site fuss-free and avoiding an oversupply of content ensures clean and attractive sites that give the end user the answers to their questions at a glance.
By crowding the senses of your user with different fonts typefaces, sizes, colours and backgrounds, you will quickly turn an interested party into one that is searching elsewhere in the blink of eye or click of a mouse.
Site navigation should take centre stage so users can see quickly and easily what they can do and where they go.
Rule 2: Clear heirachy
Arrange your content in a way that is logical – the most important stuff goes first. It’s all about priorities and achieving the desired outcome with minimal effort.
As discussed in a recent article on Great Web Design Tips information should be prioritised by:
- Size – the more important the headline the bigger it is.
- Prominence – The more important the higher up the page it goes.
- Content – Grouping similar content in a similar way or area.
Rule 3: Consistency
Maintaining consistency is paramount to the entire user centric design process. Consistent branding and usability allows a steady confidence to develop in your end user, and in turn loyalty to your brand.
For example; if your users are used to a left hand navigation bar or a burger menu, understand what they use and why then remain consistent throughout your site so they don’t become frustrated or lost when moving between pages.
Rule 4: Design with efficiency
Time is precious and your site needs to be designed for the time-poor user. All tasks and interactions on your site need to be effortless and fast, with complex decisions made simple due to effective design and intuitive functions.
By minimising the noise on your site created by excessive and inconsistent design, content, links and layouts will ensure your site doesn’t take up too much of your end user’s energy. Design for simplicity and speed.
User centric design in action
To see optimum user centric design, take a look at our UNSW International case study. With a brief to differentiate UNSW from its competitors and remain competitive within both the Australian and global education markets the site enables users to easily navigate a vast amount of information whilst nurturing them towards enrolment.
Following extensive research, persona profiling and user testing, the Adrenalin team created a responsive site that focuses on user engagement with optimised user experience and personalisation. Key features included interactive videos, dynamic data from LinkedIn and personalisation of the user experience with a simplified UX. User Centred Design was not only taken into consideration, but placed centre-stage, creating a stunning website tailored to it’s target market’s needs.
If you found this article interesting, read our recent blog on
Product Design: 5 key UX considerations to learn more about UX or contact the team to find out how we can help.