How Do Users Think?
Users appreciate quality and credibility.
Users don’t read, they scan.
Web users are impatient and insist on instant gratification.
Users don’t make optimal choices.
Users follow their intuition.
Users want to have control.
1. Don’t Make Users Think
2. Don’t Squander Users’ Patience
3. Manage To Focus Users’ Attention
As websites provide both static and dynamic content, some aspects of the user interface attract attention more than others do. Obviously, images are more eye-catching than the text — just as the sentences marked as bold are more attractive than plain text.
4. Strive For Feature Exposure
Modern web designs are usually criticised due to their approach of guiding users with visually appealing 1-2-3-done-steps, large buttons with visual effects etc. But from the design perspective these elements actually aren’t a bad thing. On the contrary, such guidelines are extremely effective as they lead the visitors through the site content in a very simple and user-friendly way.
5. Make Use Of Effective Writing
As the Web is different from print, it’s necessary to adjust the writing style to users’ preferences and browsing habits. Promotional writing won’t be read. Long text blocks without images and keywords marked in bold or italics will be skipped. Exaggerated language will be ignored.
6. Strive For Simplicity
The “keep it simple”-principle (KIS) should be the primary goal of site design. Users are rarely on a site to enjoy the design; furthermore, in most cases they are looking for the information despite the design. Strive for simplicity instead of complexity.
7. Don’t Be Afraid Of The White Space
8. Communicate Effectively With A “Visible Language”
In his papers on effective visual communication, Aaron Marcus states three fundamental principles involved in the use of the so-called “visible language” — the content users see on a screen.
9. Conventions Are Our Friends
Conventional design of site elements doesn’t result in a boring website. In fact, conventions are very useful as they reduce the learning curve, the need to figure out how things work. For instance, it would be a usability nightmare if all websites had different visual presentations of RSS-feeds.