Primary Elements That Synchronize User Expectation With Website DesignMay 6, 2020
A web designer may refine and polish his design with great visuals, graphics, and features to create a highly interactive and responsive page. The success of a website depends greatly on how usable a website is. The usability of a design is dependent on how users behave on a website.
User habits in a store and website are very similar. A user might only browse through the displayed list and categories to reach their desired product or service. They might only read text, click an item of interest, or one that closely resembles their search criteria. If the product/service matches their expectation they usually further explore into the display item or else press back and continue their search.
What are the elements that determine and synchronize user expectation and page display?
Quality Content: A visitor may ignore a poor page design/visual appeal if the page has great and credible content. This element will drive traffic to your website. Content cannot be compromised by great design elements.(1)
Scan Options: Most of the users do not read everything that is offered to them. Instead they scan the page for options that guide them to their desired destination. The users expect the page to offer effortless guidance and directive options. The website must provide a lower cognitive load and a higher intuitive navigation for matching the expectation level and superior experience.(2)
Appropriate Labels: UI components that are appropriately labelled enhance user understanding and intuitive predictions about the design. A poorly defined label makes comprehension difficult and can break their credibility with respect to the design. The expectation of the user with respect to the labels should fulfil certain criteria such as behavior definition of a button, associated content, simplicity, and reliability.
A user must be provided what is displayed on the button. The user expectation is set by a display image of the label which tells them what happens on clicking. A designer can choose appropriate verbs for eliciting positive response. For example instead of “Contact”, a more compelling verb is “Make Appointment”. Design tools can be effectively used to make labels livelier for enhanced interaction. Setting false expectation through labels breaks the trust of users because they feel the website is unreliable and incapable of fulfilling their tasks.(3)
Organization Information: Users expect simplicity and organized information display. Page layout and UI should be consistent, uniform, and balanced. Dividing the page into thematic areas should be done to provide visual clarity of information.
Visualization should prevent any false hints by grouping information that makes users derive incorrect meanings. Providing consistency across all web pages with respect to design prevents confusion and improves interaction by enforcing recognition over recall. Users recognize page information context rather than trying to remember it. Every time a user visits a site, the uniform information flow helps in the search. Graphical elements can increase informative redundancy and comprehension. (4)
Navigability: User expectation related to navigability depends on the appropriateness of the link and relevant reference provided in the text through pages. This allows to comfortably reach the searched information and come back to begin a new search. Orientation is another element that defines the level of presence in the navigation path so that the user might define the steps required to back track. Progress of navigation, if visualized, reduces the cognitive load and enhances interaction.
Therefore, a wrong navigational link can affect the satisfaction level of a user as the user would not be able to figure out a way to reach the right information. The website structure should enable the user to clearly identify the navigational scheme for effective search.(5)
(3)Cox, Patrick. “Labels: Managing User Expectations.” 08 January 2014. Tympanus website. 13 March 2015
(1,2) Friedman, Vitaly. “10 Principles Of Effective Web Design.” 31 January 2008. Smasking Magazine. 13 March 2015
(4,5) Marsico, Maria De and Stefano Levialdi. “Evaluating web sites: exploiting user’s expectations.” 19 February 2003. computerscience.unicam Website. 13 March 2015