Archive for Usability and Accessibility:

January 13, 2011

By Orange Aura

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Usability and Accessibility

Websites and People: What needs to be considered?

There are at least several million websites on the internet and increasing every day. Websites are most likely larger than the population of the world. Website design and development has become an important part of today’s business. It can be your business card or it can be your sales associate. Creating a website has matured and is much harder to create not just a website, but a website that works for your customers. A website should be your business tool for you and your customers are the users that visit your website.

The keys things to consider when designing a website is who you want to see it and what people are actually seeing it. You may want to:

  • Bring in traffic
  • Use it to increase sales
  • Provide your message
  • Information that relates the user

For whatever reason the website is being designed for, it has a purpose and the design has to fit that purpose. When talking to my clients, I often ask who they are targeting with their website. I like to know the specifics of their market and the demographic they want to focus on. These characteristics include age, college education, income, location, ethnicity, and gender, etc. Demographics give a variety of information for web designers to use to our advantage especially for research and determining what your users want to see.

What do my users want to see? This is an extremely important idea to consider in today’s website design. Every year, new technological advances change the way websites are designed. There are new standards, new languages, and new ways to add functionality, but even when you have your web designer adapt these changes to your website, it doesn’t grab your viewers and keep them coming back…great content does!

What needs to be considered in every website design is content. It is best to structure your design around the content you produce. Researching and developing strategies to produce strong content and engaging your users. Creating a theme of ideas focusing on the information you want to provide whether blogs articles within categories, news about your company or industry, images that capture your user’s eyes and interest, and powerful videos to grab your user’s attention. Combining these types of web content will not only increase your traffic, but it strengthens your product and services.

Of course, every client has a different website, idea, and an image to brand, but once I get to know my client’s demographics and who they want to target, my clients and I can figure out together how to structure their content and design a website that not only works for the client, but for the user. After you know what type of content you will provide, the design of the website can be structured. Understanding the user, the site can be laid out in a way that appeal to the user, typography can be selected, mockups can be generated, and a website can be created that your users visit frequently.

June 15, 2010

By Orange Aura

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Tips for a Web Designer to create efficient User Experience (UX) process

Good User Experience (UX) is a planned process and it is difficult in creating a good user experience. Why do we do it? As a web designer, we want to take a strategic approach in creating the website.

When creating a website for User Experience (UX), start by examining factors! Is product findable? Where do you get it? What is it? How do I use it? Is it desirable?

Start the creation by using design, structure, and communication. Research and understand the end-user, focus on their behavioral traits rather than general market criteria. Tell a story, during the UX design process, outline each phase to it is more organized. Define what your working on, find goals, find design principles on how it makes the end-user feel, understand the needs of the end-user and administrator of the website, post each element into separate layout blocks and design a sitemap, then finally, create and implement your prototype.

Finally, testing is an important feature throughout the design process whether within your facility or from focus groups. Finding a real user to interact with the experience creates the best results.

June 15, 2010

By Orange Aura

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User Experience, Future of Web Design

User Experience, Future of Web Design

User Experience, also known as ‘UX’ has become an essential component of web design process and can be sometimes subjective or hard to create the perfect experience. Specifically, it is what the customer perceives when engaged in your product.

How do I define user experience (UX)?

User experience deals with getting inside your end-users heads. When someone sees a website, what do they think, feel, expect! The psychology behind web design has never been more important. Some websites make you feel affirmed, confident, free to share and be yourself.

It is difficult in deciding what human psychology expects. Why? Because it is impossible to read someone’s mind or know exactly how they will react. But we can predict and test to make sure we are on the right track. UX design deals with visual, interaction, and content. Finding a way to articulate and combine all these features to find the optimized way can be achieved by putting the experience of using something should feel like.

Since the birth of the internet, web design began with a very cookie cutter approach, simplistic, but it has changed to a more dynamic approach. There are hundreds of web languages and frameworks to use like html, css, php, html5, css3, java, jquery that allow a website to have features such as forums, social networks, drag-able drop features, etc. We have moved from people learning about command lines, to input systems, GUI interfaces, and UX brings forth natural user interfaces. There are more tools to create a website that or flexible and usable. Once UX is mastered, websites will now become more persuasive.

The question is not if someone can use the site, but the question now becomes if they want to. For a web designer, to achieve a website that is effective, we take several steps in design a website with User Experience from: interface design, information architecture, usability and product design.

Combining these elements make a presentation that incorporates interaction and organization. It starts with understanding the user experience from start to finish. It grows beyond just what a website looks like and how it functions.