Week 6 – How can the Work Behind-the-Scenes to Design Information, Affect the Design the User’s Interact With?

Due to the fact that users can come in all shapes and sizes, the most important thing a designer can do is to gather ample amounts of research on who exactly their users may be. Depending who your users are, you as a designer should create a structure, or format that caters to the needs of that particular user. This type of solution is referred to as Information Architecture, which is basically the science and art-form of web design. IA is based on the research and study of your target users so that the data collected can be structured accordingly. This process happens behind-the-scenes and can help improve how users interact with your designed interface or product in the most effective way possible.

In fact, this is the first rule in creating an information experience according to Linda Newman in the article Creating a Successful Information Experience for Your Users, which “is to understand your users. Rule Number 2, create a process for integrating the information.” This works best in the early parts of the development process so that there is always room for revisions and improvements. The Number 3 rule is to “create content guidelines,” which should follow some sort of consistency involving typography, use of colors, and size variations regarding important content and information. The information you use as far as typography goes should be brief and straight to the point, because most users do not read everything, they scan.

Furthermore, combining graphics with your content can help users navigate your site successfully. Rule Number 4, “map your content to user tasks,” meaning your content should fit the criteria your users are looking for. If they went to your site to buy a particular item they saw in your ad, make sure that item is situated in your landing page or at least accessible by the least amount of links possible. Rule Number 5 is to “evaluate the experience.” These rules are fundamental for gathering the proper information you will need to create a comforting experience for your users.

In reference to the 5th rule, user-testing techniques such as A/B testing, case studies, or surveys should be done more than once and with different types of context. This is where creating a persona would further benefit the process by allowing you to get an in depth perspective of a users experience with your design. You can put a fictional persona into scenarios to gather different forms of data that can be further implemented into your designs altogether. Utilizing these rules in the right way will ultimately make your website tangible to obtaining the results you seek for you users and your services.