“Ten years ago, the Web was exciting to people. Today it’s routine. It’s a tool.
If it’s convenient, they will use it; if not they won’t. With ten times as many
pages on the web, users are getting less tolerant of difficult sites, so every
design flaw means lost business. Usability has become more important
than ever.” -
Jakob Nielsen, “Prioritizing Web Usability”
Good web interface design is important. And good creative is also important. But
good interface design is only one part of what makes up a good user experience.
Cool creative may look great but may actually interfere with a person’s ability to
use a site. In turn, this may kill business.
Why are you building this new web site? What are the business reasons behind it? Who is the most important user that will be visiting your site? Is it new business prospects, existing customers or new potential employees? Who is the second most important visitor to your new site? What is the profile of these people - what are they like? What information will they be quickly seeking when they visit the site? These are all important questions, as well as many more that need to be answered in order to direct the design of your new web site. So the question becomes ... does the design of your web site measure up based on the answers to the questions posed above?
We believe the best way to ensure good user experience is to create a site that people can use – that they can quickly perform whatever task they are attempting. And we also believe the best way to discover whether a site is usable is by conducting usability testing.
Usability testing helps to identify design flaws that degrade a user’s experience. Sometimes the flaw may involve poor navigation, other times it may involve forcing users to search for something that should be obvious, still other times it may involve confusing content, or an excessively wordy description.
Good user experience is not based on our opinion of how things should be designed – it is based on watching real people use a site and remediating problems they encounter.
Whitecap’s design process incorporates extensive usability testing throughout all the phases of a development process to ensure optimum user experience.