Website User Experience Optimization Tactics – Design Conventions

Positive user experience on your website

In our last few posts, we discussed the importance of creating a positive user experience (UX) on your website. This time, we look at one of the ways to do that successfully.

One given is that each visitor arrives at your website with something they hope to accomplish, even if that’s just getting to know you and your business or organization, if they happen to land there unintentionally. Your job is to help them fulfill that goal by making it easy to use your site.

There are many methods and tactics for creating an optimal UX, and what works for one project may not work for another. That’s why UX design is never a one-size-fits-all gig. However, there are some broad tactics that work pretty much across the board, before you get really granular about any specialized functionality for a particular site.

The first of these is to employ accepted Web conventions.

User experience on the phone

The Internet, in the form we’re familiar with, really started in 1989. Before that, it was really a network of electronic Bulletin Board Services (BBS) with just text and a command-line structure. But with the rise of more robust graphic page description language, the World Wide Web of today was born. Of course, it was a lot more primitive back then, and anyone remembering those days of hand-coded Gen 1 sites won’t miss it at all. But over the years since then, as HTML and PHP and CSS became more fully featured and powerful, certain conventions have evolved.

Because they did evolve organically, through repeated user preferences, they have stuck; unlike rules imposed from without, which may or may not have been useful enough to stick around. Like subway signage or road map symbols, these conventions are tacitly agreed upon and recognized by frequent users. Every so often, some freethinking, creative individual will come up with simpler or more useful versions of these conventions that they will tweak and then the new version catches on. But by and large, most of these conventions are time-tested and exist because they work.

In our next installment, we will look at specific examples of successful Web conventions that can help your site provide a positive user experience.