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Usability Do’s and Don’ts for an Interactive Design
Interactive web design is the future of web design. Right from the content, images to navigation, designers are trying to enhance the user experience by adding interactivity to the website. The only challenge to a successful interactive website is convoluted coding and sluggish bandwidth.
In this article, Monks will walk you through usability do’s and Don’ts while designing an interactive website.
1. Making it implicit? – Big no!
While adding interactivity to the website design, make sure the users aren’t left in the dark and completely aware about what’s going to happen on a particular action. Especially, when the jQuery event is fired through a click from the user, the event should accomplish at that very moment. If it’s a graphical animation, color changes or movement of an element, the same should occur in good pace right at the click or else it will provide the user with a broken page experience waiting for something to happen in the dark. Provide a consistent experience while loading the new content, images etc. for similar jquery events. Make your interactive design explicit.
2. Test the code? – Yes, It’s Inevitable!
3. Interactivity Overload? – Strictly Prohibit!
Enhancing the user experience is an art but as a designer you should know where to draw a line. Limit using interactive elements so that the users don’t get confused about the variety of movements on the screen may it be scrolling, color change, visuals or anything interactive. Overloading the website with jQuery will turn the site slow and for low bandwidth mobile users it will be a curse, increasing the bounce rate.
4. Optimize the speed? – Yo! Yo! Yo!
Most of the brilliant interactive websites have one thing in common: Right loading speed of the elements! Optimizing pages for faster page load time should not confuse the user at the same time. They are in no rush! Let them enjoy the motion entirely before switching it off! At the same time animations and effects shouldn’t be very slow which will keep the user waiting. Remember the first point, leaving in dark? For a precise time management, use numericals in the jQuery code specifying time in milliseconds.
Apart, some additional considerations and best practices include:
– Use the tabs more smartly and differentiate them from other information through interactive elements.
– Don’t take away the control from users. Interactive elements might annoy some straightforward users. Provide them alternate options especially for navigation and scrolling.
– Brain storm and consider the potential pitfalls that might impede basic functionalities and generate poor user experience while designing an interactive website.
– jQuery effectively highlights the errors especially while validating forms. Use it effectively for form based fields.
– Use .stop() and jQuery plugins like hoverIntent which prevents the animations from stacking
– Animation placement should happen meticulously in a way that users don’t get distracted from the main content.
These are some of the usability Do’s and Don’ts while designing and developing an interactive website. Are you planning to set up interactivity on your website? Let us help you 🙂
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