Week 4 – In What Way is Design Effective in Improving the Online and Mobile Experience?

Firstly, effective design is essentially the cherry on top when it comes to user experience. What I mean is that, as long as a site has good content and has a strong sense of usability, the bonus is always the aesthetics. Also when it comes to the difference between mobile and online platforms some things may differ, but the basic design principles should be considered for either category.

When it comes to website design for online platforms, your first approach should be understanding who your users are so that you can appropriate certain features and services to suit their needs. Once you know who your users are, you have to reflect on their behaviors to understand what satisfies their navigation process. This includes design essentials, such as emotive colors, balance, figure ground, proximity, and clarity. Emotive colors are non-verbal visceral clues that can be implemented into your design by the use of color alone. Balance ties into the blueprint-like structures that artists begin with in the process of wire-framing or sketching a sites content. Your figure ground would be the primary element of your layout that is meant to capture the attention of your user. Working as a starting point, the use of emphasis can help direct users from point A to point B in the most effective way. Proximity plays a key role in the clarity of your web presence, because of the use of negative and positive space structured around the relationship between image content and typography. This is why simple websites work best, because of the use of very little information, which can help most users feel comfortable on stick around on your site longer. According to the Smashing Magazine article 10 Principles of Good Website Design by Vitaly Friedman, he quotes American designer Aaron Marcus on three fundamental principles relating to “visible language” – the content users see on a screen “Do the most with the least amount of cues and visual elements. Four major points to consider: simplicity, clarity, distinctiveness, and emphasis.” The latter would be most crucial because the important elements in your design should stand out and be easily attainable. Nobody likes a fussy client.

On the other hand, when it comes to web-mobile platforms, the principles of design described in the last paragraph still apply, except for the fact that a users behavior becomes limited and you have a smaller screen to be work with. Mobile users depend on instant upgrades and a fast-paced experience, so you have to design a layout that works for somebody who is always in the go. In this case, mobile applications need to be structured with common mobile patterns, such as thumb placement, orientation, and posture to give users full accessibility of what they are seeing on a small screen. In the article 7 Tips To Create Awesome Mobile App Designs by Jerry Cao, He stresses in Tip 5, “Specifically, allow enough space for users to tap with a fingertip. If your buttons are too small or bunched too closely together, users can’t tap them accurately (which can increase frustration and therefore abandonment). This is why studying human behaviors and their interaction with certain devices can benefit a web designer and help in the process of creating the best user experience possible.