User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design Review

User experience fundamentals for web design vary a good bit from that of other mediums like traditional software, games or the like. With the continuing growth in popularity of web services as software solutions, communications and entertainment mediums, and even as gaming platforms in modern times, it’s important to actually get to know these, and why they’re different.

Now, to truly outline the various intricacies of user experience fundamentals for web design would call for quite a long series of discussions, because it has grown to be a very rich, intricate science in and of itself. That’s not what we’re here to do today. Today, we’re just going to look at the attitude and concerns that this concept has to deal with.

Let’s look at why they are different, and what has caused these differences to be such a major hurdle to mastering web design when coming from any other industry previously. If you started out in design and development for this platform, then this article will kind of be a big tall glass of “duh” to you, but you should keep reading anyhow. Who knows, you might gain an insight that was too obvious for you to actually notice before.

#1 – Platform Unity

People who are used to their computers are used to how their operating systems think, and in turn, how they must think to operate an interface. This means how the flow navigation and layout are paced, how the controls generally represent themselves, and how basic naming conventions and label captions usually work.

The problem is that with web design, people are coming from a multitude of operating systems, given that one of the big selling points of web as a platform is that it’s independent of CPU architecture and operating system. This means that there’s a delicate balance of making your design work well for the mindsets of mobile users, set top users, Windows and Mac users and even Linux users. These are all pretty different systems, so achieving a level of neutrality that still looks good is a challenge. But that’s how you separate the skilled web designer from the incompetent or overly clinical ones.

#2 – Inconsistent Screen Sizes

This is a similar issue that you have to account for, and it’s not exclusive to web design. It’s a bigger problem here, though, due to the platform unity above.

You see, people will be accessing your web design from a number of different devices such as a number of different sized mobile and tablet systems, laptops of varying size and resolution, and different monitors and televisions.

On top of this causing dimensional issues with the layout of your site, calling for flexibility in the design, but you also have to account for readability and visibility depending on resolution as well.

#3 – Eye Tracking

Eye tracking is a big issue and one that matters a lot more with web than with any other system. Eye tracking is basically the science of the order your eye notices things, and the directions in which it scans the design.

You have to account for a couple different cultural norms for reading direction, while also working out the layout for platform unity and resolution and screen size differences, while getting this eye tracking to jive with it.

Have you noticed the big trend here is that you have compounding interconnected issues to account for, as each is part of the other, summing up to a pretty difficult form of user experience and design?

It’s not easy, but when is anything worth doing ever that easy? This is just a look at the general hurdles and concerns with user experience fundamentals for web design. If you want to learn how to overcome them, then more research is mandatory. Maybe we’ll talk about them in greater detail in the future too.

Megan Wilson
Megan Wilson is user experience specialist & editor of UX Motel. She is also the Quality Assurance and UX Specialist at WalkMe Megan.w(at)walkme.com
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