Simplifying Your Site Interface: Less is More

ipadNowadays, you will find a lot of apps, widgets and all sorts of plug-ins popping up promising to make it all “easier” for your users experience on your site. Social media has become a very vital part of life that that these apps present makes a lot of difference to how your users will find your site. However, you should also be careful, as adding too much on your site might confuse and turnoff your users.

Sometimes, less is more. Simplicity is often aimed for in user interface design. Most people hate complexity in devices and software. Although there are some people who enjoy figuring things out, most of us, find that being unable to operate a device leads to frustration and wasting precious time.

The best way in delivering the best user experience is by taking a complex device or piece of software and organizing it or redesigning the interface to make it easier to understand.

Here are some tips to make your sites or apps easier, simpler and less cluttered:

1.Utilize Modal Windows

These are similar to pop-up windows, but instead of popping up in a different browser window, it appears right on top of the current one, over your content. Modal windows necessitate for interaction before proceeding, so the content behind it is usually darkened to signify this as well as to direct the user to focus on the window above it.

2.Hide Controls

You can do this by using JavaScript and display a set of controls when the user clicks somewhere. I.e. a search box that allows custom filters or advanced searches. Instead of showing these by default, you can hide them and make them accessible through a button at the end of the search bar. This enables you to keep the functionality for the users who need it and at the same time simplify the interface for users who just need a simple search.

3.Expand Forms

In web forms, it is not ideal to display several upload fields because it will clutter the interface of your site and you cannot really tell how many fields the users will need. A good solution for this would be to use an expanding form. I.e. when using a form that requires the user to input several email addresses needed for an event invite or meeting for example, instead of placing several text fields, you can just have one or two and then as the user fills them in, new ones appear underneath. This is a great way to simplify your site interface by also saving a lot of space.

4.Use Icons Instead of Text

To accomplish a simple and effective design, you need to weed out all the unnecessary parts that are seldom used by users. These can include controls and text labels. Taking away those labels will give your site a cleaner and less cluttered interface. However in some cases, this will not work, so you can instead replace the labels with icons. Icons take less space and it directs the users’ focus as its color and distinct shape attracts the eyes easier than text.

Image by Flickr

Article By: Wasim Ismail

Wasim’s a project manager at Alrayes Web Solutions along with an online SEO consultant & blogger for business at wasimismail.com, specialising in online business.


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