Hello everyone and Welcome to week 8 of Rachael’s Blog! Last week was focused on how to design the homepage of a website. This week we will switch gears and focus on how usability testing can assist web designers in designing a website that is best suited for users. When it comes to Web Design, there can be some debate from web teams when designing web pages. Everyone who works on websites have one thing in common- they are also all web users, meaning they have strong feelings about what they like and don’t like about websites. There can be times when web teams have individuals with strong personal convictions about what makes a good website. Some people enjoy websites that encompass certain things while others find said things to be a royal pain.
On top of personal passion, there also comes professional passion. We designers can have very different perspectives on what a good web design entails based on what they do for a living. What it comes down to is that designers want to build websites that look great, and developers want to build websites with interesting, original and ingenious features. When it comes time to establish design priorities, this can lead to conflict.
As soon as there is a clash of personal and professional opinions, the focus is then moved onto figuring out what the average user is really like. The problem – there is no average user. With that being said, there are two things to keep in mind:
- All web users are unique
- All web use is basically distinctive
Individual reactions to web pages are based on so many variables. There are no simple “right” answers for most web design questions. There are always going to be things that you should never and rarely do as a web designer, but these aren’t usually things that web designers argue on.
The point is that it’s not productive to ask questions like “do most people like to pull down menus’ ‘. The right questions are based around whether everything on the web page fits together and is functional. The only way to answer this question is by testing. Usability testing often tends to diffuse most arguments by breaking into the realm of what works vs what does not work. Usability testing is a good thing.
In next week’s blog post, we will go over the specifics of how to test a website.