Monthly Archives: March 2017

Blog post | Design websites that require less energy to understand

Make it easier
One of the challenges we face when designing a website is how to make the information we display not only understandable but easy to grasp. With the decreasing tolerance of the average online user, we need to use all the tricks of the trade to make the content engaging and as easy to grasp as possible. Ensuring your customers will leave your site with the message that you intended to convey.

During the design phase we can make it easier for the user by reducing how much energy it will take to process the different sections of content. Below is a general rule of thumb to help you make it easier for your users.

Motor
Asking the user to press a button or scroll uses less mental resources than asking the user to look at something or find something on a page.

Visual
Asking the user to look at something on a page i.e. images, graphics, icon and small chunks of copy uses less mental resources than asking the user to read and understand text or make decisions.

Cognitive
Reading and comprehending text on a webpage uses far more energy than the previous two levels. Further metal recourses are needed when you ask the user to make a decision or remember information.

Tips

  1. If you need to convey a more complex message or process then try splitting the information into steps.
  2. Reveal the information step by step using buttons to take the user through each step.
    Use images and graphics to support the text. No one wants to read large amounts of text for no reason and images communicate a lot more information in an instant.
  3. Declutter each section. Go through every page, every little detail and throw out what you consider unnecessary. The goal is to reduce the mental energy needed to process each section and focus the user on the key message.
  4. Make your layouts and navigation consistent. It takes valuable mental resources for new users to learn the layout and navigation of your website.