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Websites that explore visual designs - Research Paper Example

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Almost everyone has access or has the need to surf the Internet for various purposes whether for academics, work or purely for relaxation. It is indeed a challenge to the designers of websites on how they can keep the interest of the users, or how to make the Internet surfers addicted to the site…
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Websites that explore visual designs
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Download file to see previous pages Almost everyone has access or has the need to surf the Internet for various purposes whether for academics, work or purely for relaxation. It is indeed a challenge to the designers of websites on how they can keep the interest of the users, or how to make the Internet surfers addicted to the site. In this study, we will analyse six quality websites that deals with visual designs of web pages.Michael Bernard's (2003) Criteria for Optimal Web Design (Designing for Usability), noticeably, does not contain any unnecessary hyperlinks that could distract the surfer; Bernard knows exactly who his users are. Being an information website, whose users are most likely students of Computer-related courses or anyone interested in web design, Bernard's text is comprehensible and focused on enhancing the website's usability.Foss identifies four reasons why users get lost within the structure: disorientation, embedded digression problem, "art museum" problem, and poor structure (as cited in Bernard, 2003). Bernard, in turn, presents solutions to these difficulties. To avoid confusion, Bernard suggests organising the site according to thetypical users' mental model of how a site should be organised; submenu titles are also helpful. Since arrangement of links can affect search time, Bernard further recommends link presentation according to category.
Bernard adheres to the result of his research. I, personally, find Bernard's webpage easy to use. The navigation cues are visible at the top and the bottom of the page; the title of the next or previous page is also shown when the cursor touches the navigation cues. Access to this site is unbelievably speedy, as well. Just as I clicked on the Enter key the webpage immediately appeared.
Rick Oppedisano's (2002) Common Principles: A Usable Interface Design Primer upholds the general principle of usability which is often called "transparent interface" that maximises user task completion and minimises interfering factors. Rieman, Franzke, and Redmiles (as cited in Oppedisano, 2002) discover that "when users perform a transaction or action, their cognition is often split between learning and operating the system or user interface (UI)"; hence, UI has to be well-designed to enable the user to focus more on gaining knowledge than troubling himself into finding out the operating system of the website.
For this reason, Oppedisano presents "guidelines for minimising user cognitive processing and maximising interface efficiency." The basic rule for Oppedisano is having a consistent style in layout, font, and other elements. Indeed, as a user the very first thing I notice in a website is its style sheet. Fancy colors, font, and images are good to see but noticeably the fancier it gets the slower the browser becomes. However, Oppedisano's webpage has been created in the simplest form.
What is good about Oppedisano's study is ensuring that users are given full concern especially when clicking on a transaction that might have a negative consequence. An ample warning should be in place.
However, compared to Oppedisano, User Experience Design Director Mike Padilla (2006) tackles UI design in a more comprehensive manner. The key word in his article about taking the good with the bad UI design is compromise; that is, compromise between the downside and the benefit of certain design decisions. With the use of a table, Padilla has clearly presented the "costs and benefits of design decisions."
As in writing an essay, knowing the target audience is a must as it plays a vital role in determining the appropriate writing style; as in designing websites, being able to know the site's target users will also enable the designer to plan and execute a more beneficial design. As Padilla points out, critiques can also find some flaws on a good UI design. What is a high-quality design to a user may appear cluttered; ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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