Stumbled upon this blog entry by liam, loved it, shared it: How to Spot Quality within Web Design: Examples & Tips.
One can truly see the effort that went into all the visual examples (thanks, love that most) and compilation of useful tips!
Here the outline:
- Pixel Perfect Detail
- Well thought out Typography
- Organization of Elements
- Restraint & Subtlety
- Using Colour to it’s Full Potential
- Doing something Nobody else has done
Got an interesting article or blog entry?
I'd love to read and eventually share your content. Please feel free to add your links to the comments section so I can 'stumble upon' them too
Keep this picture in mind
After years of research looking for the typical end user I was finally successful. Hidden behind server log statistics, persona definitions, target audience screenings, user testing sessions and best effort anticipations on how the target customer will look like I was able to capture the Santa Claus of web design, the Deep Throat of e-commerce, the Mr. X of usability.
Regardless on how your marketing department defines the target customer or how your user research crafts the persona(s), you should always keep this picture in mind!
Your Users (customers) are:
Users hate to wait. Long loading times, flash intros, videos or audios that start dangling away automatically will drive them nuts. Blinking advertisements and popup windows will only add to their hatred.
Give them a nice and clean interface that outline important customer care words with high information scent. Speed matters!
I dare to imagine how users talk when something goes wrong not to mention the absence of adequate error messages or hints and help to recover.
Avoid sources of error and offer useful hints on how to recover in the case of problems.
Users don't read, they scan. Users don't want to wade through the bun to get to the meat. They are not willing to spend time and effort to sign up for something before they know what it is. They are not willing to pay for something that is free somewhere else.
Give users what they want in a reasonable way.
In a hurry
Users are specialists in judging a site within seconds of arriving there. Is it relevant to their goal? Is there anything else they might find interesting? Last call...
Translate the first impressions into meaningful interactions.
Your users will never tell you that your page sucks and they will never complain that they couldn't find what they were looking for. They will simply leave and never come back!
You better get your top task right
Remember the Grinch
Don't be fooled by the nice users during your user testing sessions, they would hate to hurt your feelings by cussing away about your useless system. They'd rather blame themselves, try to cope and manage the pain and save their mental outbreak for the pub at night.
What are your experiences with the Grinch of web design?
First impressions matter! Luke Wroblewski, an excellent speaker with original insights which I had the pleasure to hear at last year's UI-12 (User Interface 12) in Boston, states in his latest article that users coming to your site from a search engine will do one of three things:
- Look over the page and determine it is not relevant to their goal
- Look over the page and determine it might be relevant to their goals then quickly scan the page for the information they need
- Look over the page, quickly scan the page, find the information they need and then stay awhile.
All this happens within seconds. Therefore it is necessary to translate the first impressions (what am I looking at? functional role present?) into meaningful interactions, i.e. scanability, further (inter)action, which leaves us with the following
Guidelines for Visual Web Design
- Set initial expectations by communicating what kind of information it provides.
- Provide a way to quickly scan that information in order to locate something of value.
- Allow people to immerse themselves in the information they want and explore other relevant information when they choose to.