Keeping it Simple

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It is a known fact that no one wants their readers passing over their designs just for the simple excuse of “being in a rush” or “not having an agenda”. In chapters three and four of Krug’s text, he takes you step by step to show you the ways in which you can make your message that you want to get out stand out while not frustrating anyone. Krug channels the easy elements that can be used to make your designs great in these next two chapters.

Here are the “do’s” that Krug considers to be the best way for users to understand what you want them to know:

  1. Take advantage of conventions. Use conventions to familiarize users with different images, symbols, and words. Only problem with these is that designers don’t use them enough!
  2. Create effective visual hierarchies. It will make your work more prominent; things that are related logically are related visually; and things are “nested” visually to show what is part of what. Hierarchies organizes and prioritizes its contents to make users grasp information quickly and more easily.
  1. Break pages up into clearly defined areas. This allows users to visually decide which areas of the page to focus on.
  2. Make it obvious what is clickable. Don’t leave your users hangin’. They need to see where they can click to move on to the next page; don’t let them feel trapped.
  3. Eliminate distractions. Try to avoid “loud” additions, disorganization, and clutter. This will only add chaos and complexity to your work.
  4. Format content to support scanning. Use headings; keep paragraphs short; and use lists and highlighted key terms to catch wandering eyes and bring them to your main points.

These are the ways in which you can embrace the “billboard” in your design. As for the simplicity of your work, just know that the choices on the web aren’t always so clear. Therefore, you have to make sure your users’ choices are easy and quick to make, but also unavoidable. They should know within seconds if they want to buy that app or stay on your site. Making choices mindless is how sites become easy to use, so to be successful, you need to keep the choices easy.

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