User experience (UX) at the core of web designUser experience (UX) at the core of web design

User experience (UX) at the core of web design

UX is all the rage these days. We’ve been practicing it in our website designs for over 5 years now. We’re going to share some of our observations, and suggestions for making a website that is easy to use.

Make the logo the home link

I get so frustrated when I visit a site that makes me search for the home button. The logo of the website should always be a hyperlink to the homepage. For semantic validity, I like to use an anchor tag that wraps around a H1. Then use CSS to hide the text and display the logo.

UX Artwork Courtesy of Chris Labrooy (www.chrislabrooy.com)

Don’t make me think!

Have a consistent/persistent navigational structure that informs the overall structure of the website. Use a hierarchical structure that is intuitive, and doesn’t leave any guesswork. Make a sitemap that is broad enough that it provides enough clues about  what the submenus contain, while not so broad as to confuse visitors.

Use AJAX to streamline the experience

Nothing breaks the flow of navigating a website like waiting for a form to POST. Use AJAX to progressively enhance forms, provide search results, and validate forms.

Think about the experience

Navigating and using a website is an interactive experience, so try thinking about it in terms of a timeline. The user enters your site, what path will they take, and how can you suggest new paths as the user stays on the site

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