User Experience

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What is "user experience" and what do I need to know about it?

User Experience

Good design for the Web must be attractive and fast-loading, but there's an additional factor: It must be usable. Your users don't just look at your work, they interact with it to meet their own needs (information, connection, entertainment).

Even sites that are designed for sophisticated audiences value simplicity. Slashdot.org, which caters to high-tech professionals, may not be easy reading, but it's not very hard to figure out how to log in and post an item or comment on someone else's post.

Usability guru Jakob Nielsen lists three top priorities which all freelance Web site design pros should keep in mind:

  • Communicate clearly so that users understand instantly what your site is about and what they'll find there.
  • Provide information users want and make it easy for them to find.
  • Use simple, consistent architecture to put things where users expect to find them.

   

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