The user experience… that elusive term that massive teams of marketing and logistical teams sweat over in order to achieve the best possible result. An optimum user experience is vital when it comes to determining the functionality, effectiveness and overall satisfaction level with a website, or a portion of the website. The Internet is perhaps the most competitive environment imaginable, and all those other distractions, such as social media, online newspapers, and videos of baby pandas sneezing are a mere click away. So how can the user experience be maximized, in a manner that leads to increased traffic, conversions and sales? It’s best to look ahead at trends that might well become commonplace – things that seem a little different now, but contribute to an overall more effective user experience… and these are the things that you need to think about now, while they’re still fresh. Of course, you’ll need to view your website as something in a constant state of evolution, reacting to its environment and developing accordingly. And since your website is “alive,” it needs to be alive and kicking to ensure the best possible user experience. Once you get your website up and running you can focus on SEO and SEM tactics to drive more traffic to your site. Companies like SearchBloom specialize in this area and can also make sure that your website is as valuable as possible.
The buzzword for 2014 is “responsive,” and you need to take this into consideration when it comes to your website. It’s 2014 already! How did this happen? Just a few short years ago, going online meant sitting in front of a computer while the dial-up modem made those slightly disturbing screeching sounds. Nowadays, consumers can go online at home, at the office, on the go from a tablet or Smartphone, and soon enough, in the air while on a flight. The number of wireless zones is booming too, and a website needs to cater for this mobility in access. A responsive website takes this into account and is specifically designed to respond to the device on which its being accessed, to give the best possible online experience regardless of whether it’s a computer or phone. The influential Mashable website pointed out, “For those of us who create websites and services, all this leads to a singular conclusion: A million screens have bloomed, and we need to build for all of them.” If your website doesn’t have provisions to be at its maximum efficiency regardless of the device its being accessed from, then a positive user experience is in jeopardy.
Flat Design is a principle that works in harmony with the concept of responsive design in a manner that’s simple, striking and aesthetically pleasing. Have a look at some of the best examples of Flat Design and you’ll see a few similar things. Flash animation is more or less eliminated, and photos and graphics are also thin on the ground. “Busy” cluttered backgrounds are done away with, and information is truncated and simplified, with extraneous text culled and discarded. Pieces of information are segmented and often differentiated by color. It’s not so easy to create an effective Flat Design website, so you need a website creator that knows his or her stuff. But why does Flat Design make for a positive user experience? The simplicity and effortless navigation means that the functionality of the site is at the highest possible level, and doing away with photos, graphics, animations, etc, means that the page loads at a faster rate – practically instantaneously with a fast connection.
User experience is a vital part of the online process, and so it’s important to stay abreast of new developments in the world of the World Wide Web to ensure that your online presence is up to the task. Some trends will come and go, and yet it’s very easy to speculate that things such as a responsive and easy to navigate website will be here to stay…