Compare Design with Usability of Your Website
Build your website -> Website Design
In the minds of some website developers, there seems to be a tussle going on between the design of a website and how best its usability can be. The design aspects deals with the attractiveness of the website whereas usability deals with how useful the website is to the visitor. How best s/he can get information what they are looking for.
Most visitors would look for both on your website. It has always been a big confusion, whether to choose the most attractive thing or the one that's useful to you? Some say you have to sacrifice one or the other. But you don't have to.
What's design of a website
Right away you might think of design in terms of colors, pictures and patterns, but honestly it's much more than that. Design is a concept too deep; it is something that touches all our senses subconsciously, and is present at every stage of making a website. Design is the layout of your website.
What's usability of a website
A builder may design the most beautiful building in the world from the outside, but once you go inside, you tend to get lost. The offices are not easily accessible, the bathrooms and coffee machines and other necessities are almost impossible to find. A website acts the same way. The design should be nice but the information should be easily accessible to the visitors. If the user wants to dig in some more, all the menus and the headings should be clearly labeled.
What's development of a website
Development of a website is not possible without first designing it. This ensures that the website design has full usability and provides seamless user-experience when completely ready. The web developers see a project at many stages, they work in accordance with the design of the website, maintain accessibility, provide a pleasing appearance - keeping in mind that the functionality and usability are not sacrificed along the way.
Design your website around usability
If you start first with the usability in mind and design your website around that, I believe you would do just fine. If you make your website look pretty with all the bells and whistles you can think of, you will find sooner than later that the users look for information that they can easily find.
However, having said that, it's always important that your website should be user-friendly but at the same time, the look of the site must also be striking to grab the attention of users.
When I was researching for this page, I read so many articles stating that setting the design of the project in the beginning ensures usability later on. That may or may not be true. The most important and foremost reason in presenting a website to the world is how best you can provide information and how best the user can find it.
Designing your website around usability means locating the number of pages you have, the site's controls, the goals, users expectations and convenience. The colors, pictures and patterns are secondary and usually come afterwards.
Make it easy to use in the first place
Always remember, instead of explaining or offering help on how to use certain features of your website, simply make it easy to use in the first place so the users don't have to seek help. Make it easily operable and you will successfully be able to have design and usability integrated.
Your design may be the best in the world, but if users get stuck at certain point and don't know where to go, they will surely close your website and go to other website, worse to your competition.
In a Nutshell
Bear in mind, design is usability and usability is design. They are not mutually exclusive. Rather both concepts depend on each other. Both are crucial for each other's survival. Sacrificing one over the other would be disaster for your website. So never let creative design overcome business practicality and usability. The reverse must be true as well.
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