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User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design

Elements every web page should have


From:

User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design

with Chris Nodder

Video: Elements every web page should have

Let's think about the common elements you should put on every page in order to help your visitors work out what they doing. It's actually not that hard, but it's amazing how often sites neglect some of these simple things, and as a result make it harder for visitors to understand what the site is about, and what they can do on it. The first and most important thing you must do is work out what your site is actually about and explain that in a concise way on the screen. If you can't write a short sentence that says what the purpose of your site is, then there is no way you are going to be able to get your visitors to understand what you do.
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  1. 1m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
  2. 4m 37s
    1. Building a site for your visitors
      1m 29s
    2. Understanding how people browse the web
      45s
    3. It's all about information
      48s
    4. What causes people to leave sites?
      1m 35s
  3. 3m 50s
    1. Simple design
      1m 9s
    2. Consistent design
      1m 11s
    3. Standard design
      1m 30s
  4. 20m 55s
    1. Elements of navigation
      1m 21s
    2. Content has a structure
      2m 18s
    3. Understanding menus
      3m 19s
    4. Reviewing some menu myths
      2m 4s
    5. Working with site maps
      1m 5s
    6. Adding search to your site
      2m 53s
    7. Understanding links
      3m 43s
    8. Exploring clickable elements
      1m 18s
    9. Understanding Fitts's Law
      2m 54s
  5. 11m 19s
    1. People can begin from any page on your site
      1m 24s
    2. Elements every web page should have
      3m 25s
    3. Creating progressive navigation
      3m 22s
    4. Arranging your content
      3m 8s
  6. 8m 7s
    1. How people read on the web
      2m 31s
    2. Writing for information exchange
      1m 43s
    3. Formatting pages for information exchange
      3m 53s
  7. 7m 21s
    1. Using your homepage as a site summary
      1m 50s
    2. Creating fresh content
      1m 20s
    3. Displaying navigation and search
      1m 25s
    4. The five-second test
      2m 46s
  8. 8m 8s
    1. Showing people what you've got
      3m 50s
    2. Making comparisons easy
      1m 24s
    3. Creating landing pages from ad campaigns
      2m 54s
  9. 11m 22s
    1. The real purpose of detail and product pages
      1m 16s
    2. Writing descriptive text
      2m 4s
    3. Using images to set context
      2m 17s
    4. Showing the price for products
      2m 27s
    5. Have a call to action
      1m 36s
    6. About Us: a special detail page
      1m 42s
  10. 10m 58s
    1. Ask for information in context
      2m 25s
    2. Making forms as painless as possible
      2m 34s
    3. Creating form fields
      3m 37s
    4. Handling errors gracefully
      2m 22s
  11. 9m 9s
    1. Using different types of media
      1m 55s
    2. Simple question: Does it enhance the experience?
      2m 15s
    3. Using graphics for explanation, not decoration
      1m 17s
    4. What is interactive content?
      1m 58s
    5. Laying out your page for media
      1m 44s
  12. 5m 3s
    1. Making money without selling out
      1m 37s
    2. Adding graphical ads
      2m 10s
    3. Creating text ads
      1m 16s
  13. 3m 42s
    1. Simple, consistent, and standard design
      2m 4s
    2. Consider your users and you'll be fine
      1m 38s
  14. 1m 31s
    1. More resources
      1m 31s

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User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design
1h 47m Beginner Dec 20, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Discover how to create a user experience that embodies utility, ease of use, and efficiency by identifying what people want from websites, how they search for information, and how to structure your content to take advantage of this. In this course, author Chris Nodder shows how to merge engineering, marketing, graphical and industrial design, and interface design to create a website that meets the needs of your customer, and is simple, elegant, and engaging. The course shows how to use graphics to help rather than hinder visitors, balance advertising and content, and integrate video, audio, and other media. Other tutorials consider the landing page experience and elements like contact forms from the visitor's perspective.

Topics include:
  • Applying simple, consistent, and standard design principles
  • Tailoring your menus, site map, and links for visitors
  • Understanding progressive navigation
  • Formatting page for information exchange
  • Understanding the importance of the homepage
  • Creating compelling category and landing pages
  • Showing the price for products
  • Having a call to action
  • Asking for information on forms
  • Using media to tell your story
  • Earning ad revenue without discrediting your site
Subjects:
Web User Experience
Author:
Chris Nodder

Elements every web page should have

Let's think about the common elements you should put on every page in order to help your visitors work out what they doing. It's actually not that hard, but it's amazing how often sites neglect some of these simple things, and as a result make it harder for visitors to understand what the site is about, and what they can do on it. The first and most important thing you must do is work out what your site is actually about and explain that in a concise way on the screen. If you can't write a short sentence that says what the purpose of your site is, then there is no way you are going to be able to get your visitors to understand what you do.

As an example let's say you are a florist and you have a site that lets people order flowers for delivery, as well as advertising your physical shop. You have flowers for all occasions from weddings to prom corsages, to funerals. So what's your site about? Well, it is about getting flowers to people in a certain geographic area for the events in their life. This suggests a short sentence like "Ventura Area Flowers delivered for all of life's special events." I am sure that you can do better than this for your own site. Remember, this sentence is going to appear on every page of your site, so as well as being descriptive; it is useful if it also includes the terms that people are likely to search on.

You we can make some educated guesses about what terms to include, but typically for small businesses the product and geographic area are the most important things to mention, because these are what people search for most often. For special interest sites, it's normally the topic. This description becomes your site's tagline; most often the tagline appears directly under the site logo or name. Make sure it appears on the page's text, not as a graphic, because search engines can't read the text from within an image and that would waste all of your hard work.

This is a good time to point out that your site's logo, name, and tagline, should all be hyperlinked to the homepage, so that if someone clicks on them, they are taken directly to your Main page. This action has become a standard way of doing things. Although not all users know about it, enough of them do to make this worthwhile, because lots of visitors, if they have reached your site through a search engine, would want to get to what they consider to be the top of the site, to find out more about you. Another place to put in some descriptive text is in the Page Title. This is the information that shows up in the browser to identify the web page, it either appears in the Title Bar or in the Tab directory above the page.

Obviously this text gets truncated quite a bit, especially if people have several tabs open. For that reason you want to lead with the most important information and probably limit the Title to 64 characters or less. The Title should be unique for every page, so the best way to create it is probably to do the inverse of what you do if you're creating breadcrumbs. In other words just start with a very brief discussion of the page, then maybe the topic area, if that's relevant to you, then the name of the site. For our Florist example, this might be Bridal Bouquets Weddings Hansel Petal Flowers, because we know that when this is displayed, the most variable piece of the content, the Bridal Bouquets will show up in the tab.

The rest might be hidden from the user, but it's still really useful information for search engines. You don't need the little words like "and" or "of". And instead of punctuation, use the pipe character-that long vertical line-to separate the concepts that you place in the Title text. We covered Navigational elements like Site Menus and Breadcrumbs in Chapter 3, but it's worth emphasizing again here that the those navigation controls also have their opportunity to give visitors a great insight into the contents of your site, so they need to be given a great deal of thought as well.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design.


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