Success is in the details: What makes a website stand out
Details are what define an experience and an appearance. When they are recognized, they become the point of the story and make it memorable and unique. We always remember the little things, the small gestures, the extra spice added to the meal. They always improve whatever it is, whether it’s an experience, a product or a process. But the lack of these details can lead to the opposite.
User experience (UX)
In web design and development, these “little things” greatly improve the visitors experience. Of course, the term “UX” encompasses much more than just these details, but they are definitely a big part of the equation. Whether it’s the navigation between pages, button recognition, iconography, typography and color. It’s whether there is a smooth transition of a color (i.e. fade in/out) as opposed to abruptly switching between the two “on/off” options. For instance, isn’t it much nicer to have an element fade out rather than just disappear in a snap? Maybe the ordinary user doesn’t consciously notice this difference but it greatly improves his or her experience.
Design plays a big part
Many times, it’s hard to notice what elements are actually buttons (as with images for instance) because they don’t give feedback to the user while “hovering” over them with the mouse pointer. Taking this one step further, the style (design/animation) of the feedback is also important to “lighten the atmosphere” of hard, cold and abrupt actions. An ordinary change in color can be more complex and creative, yet still be subtle, and give necessary feedback.
Design and UX go hand in hand. One affects the other, either improving or damaging the overall outcome. For instance, there can be a fade effect of an element, but that element can be a bad picture, an unlegible font, or the use of an unattractive color. The two must be great in order to succeed and lead to a positive experience!
Transitioning between pages can also be a factor in user experience. Although not all websites would benefit from this, wouldn’t it be nicer that a page slides in from the top, or fades in onto the current page, rather than the page disappearing, seeing a white, empty page for a second or two and then the new page suddenly appearing? It’s no fun and just like the rest!
The web is our world
We are always on the web. We are always using various apps and technologies for our day-to-day activities and our reliance on these apps and sites are only getting stronger. So we need to make these experiences smarter, easier and more enjoyable - even if it’s just logging onto your bank's website to check your balance. All of those little details add up and result in a good overall experience and you’ll remember that the next time you visit. You won’t be afraid of a bad experience and it’ll be a breeze!