How We Really Use The Web
Kinyanjui Wangonya Sep 10
If your going to design for users, its important to know how users use the web. People don’t really read through stuff on pages. They glance and scan through, & only stop to pay attention when something catches their attention.
Remember the last time you bought something online? How did you use the site? You probably didn’t go reading all the descriptions of your product of interest, comparing specs and prices till you got just the right one. You got to the site, didn’t even take a look at anything else, went straight for the search bar. Typed your item, got results. I bet you didn’t even read the names, just looked at pictures, and prices. If prices were mostly similar, you concentrated on pictures. The photo that caught your attention most, you clicked on, and probably bought.
(I’ve also noticed that you can tell whether a person is doing something useful on their phones or not without looking at their screen or their facial expressions — just their scrolling activity. If its something useful, like reading an ebook, the scrolling will be slow and consistent. If not really important, like just browsing social media for example, they’ll be scrolling really fast, and stopping the screen scroll motion midway when there’s a picture/gif/video. Rarely does anyone stop for just plain text on such sites. But I digress.)
That’s why I’m a big fan of landing pages that take a minimalist approach with lots of white space and focus on product.
What caught your eye in the pictures above? I bet you concentrated on the right side, where the images are. I know the text isn't that clear on the screenshots but lets be honest, who even tried reading the text? 🤚🏽 Maybe just the header texts.
- When designing, make sure what’s really important pops out and catches attention. Calls to action and such like things of importance should appear prominently.
- Don’t give the users too many options. They won’t go through all of them anyway (see satisficing), and may end up missing what they really wanted.
- Borrowing from the last chapter, if you can’t make something self evident, then make it self explanatory. There’s really no need for making up for poor design with good documentation or user manuals. People want to try things out and figure it out for themselves with minimal to no risks. Make it easy for them to.
Next Chapter: Bilboard Design 101
“If your audience is going to act like you’re designing billboards, then design great billboards”