The primary purpose of a website is to inform the user about an issue, subject, or business. Therefore, it is important that the website be user friendly. The website should cater to the user of the website and encourage him or her to return to the site due to enjoying the initial visit.
There are many ways to improve the user experience of a website. The first is the aesthetic presentation of the website. The internet is a visual landscape, not oriented toward scent or taste. World wide web experiences cater to the senses of sight and sound. Therefore, it is vital to integrate positive experiences on the website that tap into these senses. Just as a letter is better received when addressed in fine calligraphy on the outside of the envelope, so is a website better received by the viewer when visually stunning.
Components to consider while designing the visual aspect of a website or web application are color scheme, images, font, and scale. Each color has its own corresponding psychological and emotional association. Yellow can be employed in the website to encourage sentiments of joy and carefree feelings. Red can be used in order to encourage purchase on the website and as a call to action.
Green can be used in order to instill in the viewer a sense of integrity in association with the website. Blue can be utilized in order to instill in the website user a sense of calm and trust. Purple can be used in order to establish the website and what it represents as highly valuable and of a regal nature. Black can be used in the website in order to encourage sentiments of security in the website brand and white can be used in order to encourage feelings of thought clarity in association with the website brand. Using these psychological tools in association with color can help to improve the effectiveness of the user experience.
The images in a website also influence the user’s experience of the website. In order to instill positive feelings of a carefree nature, the website designer can utilize images of open space in nature. Additionally, the website designer should choose images that are relevant to the written subject matter on the page. This will help to reinforce the message being sent on the website and so aid the website user in his or her learning process. It is reassuring to see messages echoed throughout the website page and utilizing relevant images in the background and foreground of the web page help to do just this.
The font is also a consideration for the website designer. Typography, or the features that make up the style of printed material, affects how the user receives the information on a website. Messages that the website designer wants to be remembered in particular by the user should be put into bold or larger lettering in contrast with the rest of the font. Additionally, Serif fonts have also been shown to encourage readers to take their time in carefully absorbing the message of written material.
User experience can also be improved on a website through the integration of interactive tools. While certain individuals retain information more effectively through auditory or visual stimulation, still others learn best through kinetic stimulation. For those who fall into the latter group, it is important to have interactive tools present at hand. The designer can include buttons or floating images on the page that, when pressed, link to external pages or following pages on the website. These buttons can be formatted to make a noise when pressed or play a song. Hovering over certain links or buttons can cause a darkening or brightening of the link or button. Little tools such as these can help the website designer amplify the user experience truly by ten fold. Interactive tools can assist the website user in absorbing the designer’s message.