How to design the best website user experience

The Navigation System
No, we’re not talking about your GPS. But you might glean some perspective from the consumer products all around you. Long before the internet (or GPS) was mainstream, industrial designers had been honing and advancing user interfaces for manual operation. Whether it was the car stereo or the VCR, they recognized that comprehensive controls were pivotal in making their products viable. Things are starting to come full circle (who knew?!) with the advent of touchscreen and the desire to develop & design responsive websites for displays of various device types. The new norm will soon be conforming your site for display on car stereos! Until then, let’s focus on what you need to consider today to create a compelling website navigation system.
Use conventional placement
Why? Humans are creatures of habit. There is a reason you see top-of-the-screen navigation on the majority of websites. It is functional because people read from the top down. It is effective because it communicates a lot across a wide piece of real estate without hogging it up. Logically, you can’t go wrong with a menu at the screen’s top because people are looking for it up there by default.


http://www.gomediazine.com

Greetings & Salutations

My name is Wilson Revehl, Co-founder, CTO, and Vice-President of Go Media. When William Beachy and I founded the firm in 2003, merging our respective freelance businesses, I would not have imagined we’d become a publisher. And lord knows I haven’t done much to advance that cause. Jeff Finley, our first principle partner, deserves most of the credit for advancing our readership. The last time I wrote a Zine article was in 2007, about Flash, which has since become irrelevant.

I built my first website in 1996 on Yahoo’s GeoCities wysiwyg. I’ve been immersed in the world of syntaxcurly braces and for loops ever since. Today, I can read and write in all the major web programming languages, but still prefer PHP & Javascript. My skill-sets are perpetually in high demand. That’s great, except maybe I’ve been using it as an excuse to put article writing on the back burner. I’m hoping to change all of that. I want to contribute more knowledge to the design community moving forward.

Usability fundamentals of modern website design

Months after we launched a brand-new site design for our client, they returned. They wanted a new homepage. They were a market-savvy bunch who had tracked visitor click-through and retention. The idea was to alter the layout to rev up visitor engagement. I wholeheartedly endorsed the endeavor.

An organization who has the means and is willing to test differing user experiences will find that it offers constructive insight into their marketplace. However, most small businesses don’t have the budget to refresh their website design or layout whenever they want. That is why it’s crucial to design a thoughtful website user experience the first time.

Here, we’ll cover some usability basics for modern websites. The goal is to show you pragmatic dos & don’ts to ensure you’re taking advantage of best practices and conventions.

The Navigation System

No, we’re not talking about your GPS. But you might glean some perspective from the consumer products all around you. Long before the internet (or GPS) was mainstream, industrial designers had been honing and advancing user interfaces for manual operation. Whether it was the car stereo or the VCR, they recognized that comprehensive controls were pivotal in making their products viable. Things are starting to come full circle (who knew?!) with the advent of touchscreen and the desire to develop & design responsive websites for displays of various device types. The new norm will soon be conforming your site for display on car stereos! Until then, let’s focus on what you need to consider today to create a compelling website navigation system.

Use conventional placement

Why? Humans are creatures of habit. There is a reason you see top-of-the-screen navigation on the majority of websites. It is functional because people read from the top down. It is effective because it communicates a lot across a wide piece of real estate without hogging it up. Logically, you can’t go wrong with a menu at the screen’s top because people are looking for it up there by default.

No design works unless it embodies ideas that are held common by the people for whom the object is intended.

– Adrian Forty

Top Navigation… Leer más “How to design the best website user experience”

Go Media’s Flickr pool showcase

Yet another showcase of the amazing work from our Flickr pool, curated by yours truly.
Once again, I tried to select art that was as diverse as possible, to show the many different directions the members of the pool are going into. This post might seem lengthy, it’s my way to compensate with not having done a showcase post in December.

Thanks again to all of you who post your terrific work. It’s a great source of inspiration and motivation.

Your work is not there yet? Please try again for next month’s showcase!


http://www.gomediazine.com/design-articles/go-medias-flickr-pool-showcase-january-2011/

Yet another showcase of the amazing work from our Flickr pool, curated by yours truly.
Once again, I tried to select art that was as diverse as possible, to show the many different directions the members of the pool are going into. This post might seem lengthy, it’s my way to compensate with not having done a showcase post in December.

Thanks again to all of you who post your terrific work. It’s a great source of inspiration and motivation.

Your work is not there yet? Please try again for next month’s showcase!

axekabuki

I Want To Do You

Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo.

Wishing you a WikiLeaking 2011

George St.Pierre Poster

Strip 4

Dribbble Bus

tron_legacy_poster Leer más “Go Media’s Flickr pool showcase”

Go Media Instagram Challenge

Once your design is complete, upload it to the Go Media User Showcase:

1. Login to your Flickr Account (sign up if you don’t have one)
2. Join the Go Media User Showcase Group (only group members can contribute)
3. Upload your designs to your own profile
4. Click on your newly uploaded designs then click the button “send to group” above your image and choose the Go Media group.
5. Tag your image with “Go Media Instagram Challenge” (use the quotes when adding the tag so it registers as one big tag)

We’ll run the challenge for 2 weeks, then pick the best of the bunch and feature them in an upcoming blog post here on the ‘Zine, with a short interview of the creator. Our fave design will receive $25 in Arsenal credit as well.

Go!


So who hasn’t heard of Instagram by now? If you haven’t, it’s a photo-sharing service based around a free iPhone app. It’s huge, and to be honest I’m not exactly sure why.

You take photos, add an optional retro filter to it, then upload and share to people who follow you. Kind of like Twitter for photos. Kinda. You can also post the photos to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and more.

Here’s what we want you to do: if you’re an iPhone owner, go out and take some photos using Instagram and upload to your Flickr account. Then, use the photos in an original design. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy or involved. Since it’s winter now, let’s make that the theme to help you get started. If you don’t own an iPhone, find a friend with one or find an Instagram image online from another user (and get permission to use the photo first, of course).

All designs must conform to the square Instagram dimensions. You are free to do anything to the photo except add filters from your graphics software. Only the photo filters from within Instagram are allowed. We’re on the honor system for this. The idea is to limit your resources to nudge your creativity. You’ll only be cheating yourself.

Once your design is complete, upload it to the Go Media User Showcase:

  1. Login to your Flickr Account (sign up if you don’t have one)
  2. Join the Go Media User Showcase Group (only group members can contribute)
  3. Upload your designs to your own profile
  4. Click on your newly uploaded designs then click the button “send to group” above your image and choose the Go Media group.
  5. Tag your image with “Go Media Instagram Challenge” (use the quotes when adding the tag so it registers as one big tag)

We’ll run the challenge for 2 weeks, then pick the best of the bunch and feature them in an upcoming blog post here on the ‘Zine, with a short interview of the creator. Our fave design will receive $25 in Arsenal credit as well.

Go!


Go Media is a creative agency based in Cleveland, Ohio. Besides the GoMediaZine, we also work for clients and sell stock artwork and design files on the Arsenal.

challenge, instagram, iPhone, photography

This post was written by:

George Coghill – who has written 77 posts on GoMediaZine.

George Coghill is the editor of Go Media ‘Zine and a freelance humorous illustrator/cartoonist specializing in mascot cartoon character design & cartoon logos. His cartooning & illustration work can be seen at CoghillCartooning.com and at his cartooning and illustration blog. Be sure to follow me on Twitter here!

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