Transparency includes all of the things that make us “feel” we are in the right or wrong place. These visual cues include content relevance, readability, navigation, expectations, etc. These are the details that frustrate us if they aren’t obvious or transparent. But they happen AFTER speed and decoration judgments.
They are frequently subconscious irritation or pleasure. People don’t want to be annoyed or frustrated while using a website. Some annoyances include: Type that is too small or otherwise hard to read, having to search for page elements that are not in the usual places, and irrelevant content.
The “core language” of web quality.
Our WordPress strategy is unique, faster, and more efficient for evaluating website quality than complicated User Experience (UX) methods. It’s a principle of economy. Learning the “core language” of web quality covers 80 percent of the typical need. We feel there are decorative elements that can be leveraged and balanced with speed and still produce “branding” and variety. But it requires compromise and design restraint.
You don’t have to be an expert in psychology, anthropology, architecture, sociology, computer science, graphic design, industrial design and cognitive science – all at the same time. You can check four simple factors and kill 80 percent of user frustration and improve your website quality.
Stop web design overkill and fanaticism.
• Convenient use.
• Easy orientation.
• Easy to use.
• Easy to navigate.
• Clear design.
• Feel joyful.
• Feel pleasure.
• Feel gratified.
• Can count on site.
• Site contains no mistakes.
• Site provides reliable information.
There are two camps in web design. One camp believes websites should be like paper-under-glass, pixel-perfect, and appear the same in every browser made. This is almost impossible at this point in technological development. How browsers “act and react” to code and even images is pretty unpredictable. These differences mean special customization is required for viewing on different browsers and devices. Cross-device compliance multiplies the work needed.
Each browser has it’s proprietary quirkiness. A designer works much harder or uses cookie-cutter templates to try and get “solid” placement of design elements. This unusual attempt to achieve graphic design perfection originated from print media culture.
The web was originally designed just for text and data – not images. Text is what the web does best – but it was intended to move. Working within the severe limitations of the “natural” web is the challenge and goal of transparent websites. Many designers struggle to make the web do the “unnatural” – look like 300 dpi print medium.
The other design camp requires more imagination. User’s are not aware when dynamic pages adapt to their screen. This is called transparency. For example, page speed is transparent when it’s fast. Because it’s not noticed, it’s invisible to the user. But a slow page will generate many complaints – no longer transparent.
The same with “fluid or liquid” or responsive pages. The user never notices. The page automatically “snaps” to their browser window size. They didn’t have to interact with the browser window to make things work. No irritation or frustration.
The more designers attempt controlling a web page, the more slowness or bloat. If you let the pages move naturally, the lighter and faster the pages get. It’s simpler because you’re working in harmony with the web’s unpretentious state.
Our job is balancing between beauty and speed. This is not easy and few designers are good at it because they really don’t care. The apathetic just want to get paid and move on to the next project.