User interface designers are capable of turning your standard-issue website into a bona fide point of online interest. But in order to ensure your website does what you want it to do and achieves the functionality that you need, you’re going to have to get heavily involved in the decision-making process – which means developing a keen understanding of some of the methodologies involved in interactive web design. Here’s a list of tips, tricks and little known myths to help get you on the road to optimum website usability.
Tip: Define Your Goals
It’s not enough to simply tell your interface designer that you want maximum interactivity. That’s sort of like strolling onto a car lot and telling the salesman that you’re looking for “a good car.” That sort of approach is entirely subjective and depends greatly on how you define “good.” When you’re working with user interface designers, it’s vital that you establish precisely what you want your website to accomplish, and how you intend to measure that success. Establishing what constitutes a measurable success is just as important, so don’t fudge on this. Also, don’t be vague about your requirements. Remember, specificity is key. The more specific you can get, the better your chances are of hitting the proverbial nail on the head.
Trick: Put Yourself in the Customer’s Shoes
Although this may sound easy, it’s not. The fact is, you spend the vast majority of your time operating your business and making decisions that’ll help grow your customer base and drive higher levels of revenue. Separating yourself from that, even for a short while, can be incredibly difficult – but it’s an exercise that will not only help you in coming up with great interactive design ideas for your own website, but it’ll also help you to better understand the very people that fuel your business. User interface designers are, by nature, the perfect people to work with for these types of projects because they’re not intimately involved with the day-to-day operations of your company and can offer you a fresh perspective. Be sure to listen carefully to their suggestions in this area, even if they contradict your own assumptions.
Myth: Originality in Design is Essential
It’s great to work with user interface designers that have originality coming out of every pore, but it also pays to heed the old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” In other words, don’t try to reinvent the wheel. The fact is, conventional user interface design exists because it works well. More importantly, people are used to how certain things work and if you go scrambling things up, you’re more likely to chase website visitors away than you are to appeal to their adventurous natures. Don’t buy into the myth that you have to break new ground in order to achieve optimum interactivity.
Another Myth: Success Should Happen Quickly
Some of the greatest success stories in history came as a result of diligent people who tried and tried again, even after failure dogged their early efforts. Keep this in mind as you implement and measure the results of your user interface design. Success won’t come overnight, and it may take some time for positive results to come filtering in. If this takes time to happen, don’t scrap your efforts and start again. Instead, continue to work with an interface designer to make necessary tweaks as weaknesses and opportunities for improvement are identified.
If you’re ready to get started on your website redesign and are looking for a fulltime interactive designer to partner up with, begin your search by visiting www.artisantalent.com. Artisan Talent has a growing database of world-class user interface designers that you can hire on a per-project basis to make your user interface design goals a reality.
Vince F is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.