Perception of a website from a student’s perspective - Serendipity2

Perception of a website from a student’s perspective

As a student studying various website design and development modules, I may have a different perspective of a website’s functionality, design and user journey, learning how a site should be built. However, putting that aside, I still have strong personal preference of what works in a website from a user point of view.

First of all, I feel that less is more regarding website design. Having too much content or too many elements can distract the user. Having a sleek, modern look to each page also increases my trust for the website and company. In my opinion, every page should have an image or an element that is different to just plain text. This keeps the user engaged and interested. I usually ignore web pages with a lot of solid text without imagery or visual elements because it doesn’t engage me.

Personally, I like to have a clear and easy journey when using a website. For example, when I shop online, I like to know where everything is and what to do next when purchasing or selling an item. This can be achieved by using a progress bar and stages, step by step instructions and feedback.

One thing which irritates me about websites is the overwhelming amount of pages which do not have a clear navigation route. From a designer’s point of view, a good design should allow the user to arrive at their desired location within no more than three clicks. I think this is one of the most important aspects when designing for usability. I personally leave sites that aren’t easy and intuitive to use as there is so much choice out there and bad user journeys cause confusion and irritation.

Lastly another one of my pet hates is pop-ups as these can be very irritating! If I’m shopping online, I don’t want to be bombarded with loads of pop-ups which may navigate me to another page or distract me from what I want to do. From a designer’s point of view, it may be worth considering Shneiderman’s eight golden rules of Interface Design. One of these principles is to reduce short-term memory load by keeping the display simple with minimal window motion-frequency which means less pop-ups!


5 Factors to consider

• Consider Gestalt’s Laws when designing web pages to ensure consistency!
• Consider colour-vision impairments when choosing which colour palettes to use
• Ensure each page can be located within 3 clicks
• Consider using a breadcrumb trail navigation bar to improve usability
• Offer informative feedback to ensure user’s know their actions have been carried out


Lucy Reynolds


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