- Navagating through a website is similar to navigating through a website because you are still finding your way through different “sites” as you would find your way through different cities. The web offers similar physical movement to the real world, except when you are searching through websites, its difficult to envision a landscape view of what you visited. The web is similar to the real world because there is a sense of direction. Nowadays, it is easy to locate where you are by looking at the headers and different buttons you can click that leads you to a homepage, or further link. In the real world, looking at a map can lead you in the right direction in the same way.
- A menu of links and a search bar are the most common way people like to search the web. I think this is easy and quick for the user to find what they are looking for. When using the search aspect, it is important to add a “return to homepage” button or else the user might not ever see the full website. Also, having 5-7 links on a menu page is beneficial because users are trying to find their information quickly with as few clicks as possible. It is important when designing your website to make it as simple as possible. Overly complex designs make the user unfamiliar with the website and makes it harder for the user to navigate through the site. The entire site should have a similar theme and layout so the user knows what they are looking for in each page. If all the pages are different, it is difficult for the user to navigate through the different pages. Confidence is key to the website. You have to make sure your pages look reliable with good visual elements will aid the user into thinking the website is reliable. Navigation columns are best noticed when they are on the left hand side of the screen. From what we learned in class, most people read left to right in an F pattern. If the navigation column is on the left, there is a higher chance the user will use the navigation column to their benefit. While simplicity and coherence is important in designing a website, the company should also try to make their website unique to other companies. This will make the user remember the website because it is nothing they have ever seen before.
3. Gestalt theory is how a user organizes visual elements to their advantage to absorb the information. There are a few principles that factor into the gestalt theory; Proximity, Similarity, Continuity, Closure, Figure-ground relationships, and Uniform connectedness. According to CRAP-HATS, contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity, headings, access, typography, and space are all important in visual rhetoric. All of these principals, gestalt theory and CRAP-HATS, revolve around how the user visualizes information in a wholesome form.
4. Making a flexible page design is recommended because fixed layouts do not account for those with different size screens and browser windows. If someone were to open a fixed-layout page on an iPhone rather than a desk top, the user will have to scroll to see the entire page. If the page was flexible, the user will be presented with the entire page and therefore make it easier for the user to navigate and visualize their available options. Page width should be universal and flexible to the browser window. The page width should also not be too long, or the reader will have to hunt for the information instead of reading it thoroughly if the page width was shorter. One of the most important aspects is to have the information going vertically. The article talks about how important typography is and in HATS, one of the elements is typography as well. Choosing a professional font instead of a goofy font will make the reader believe the site is more reliable.
5. One reason users find reading on the web uncomfortable is because it is awkward to scroll through the information, so the reader just ends up scanning the information. It is awkward because when someone is searching on the web, they jump from page to page rather than when someone is reading a book where they read the pages chronologically.
6. The inverted pyramid looks like an upside down triangle. The base of the triangle is the most important information and it is presented first. We learned in class that “Front loading” is a good technique. This means the designer puts the most important information first. Then the middle of the pyramid is the information elaborating on the important information. The tip of the pyramid is the least important information.
7. Choosing the correct style to present information is crucial. It is important to add keywords throughout the page of information so that when the user searches them in the search engine, they are brought to a page with that word being relevant throughout the site. Titles and subtitles are to be bolded so a user can easily recognize what they are reading. It is evident throughout this Web Style Guide that Lynch and Horton practice this on each page. When using a hyper link, you should explain to the reader that they will be redirected to another page. This is important because the hyperlink should enrich the information on the page instead of distracting them. Lynch and Horton’s website is definitely unique, as I have never seen a website like this before. Since you had to click “next page” to keep reading the information, it helps the reader because if the information was presented in one long page, the reader would become discouraged. Having the site split upon pages gives the reader a sense of fresh information.