Published: February 26, 2015
Traditionally, developers have relied on their designers to create user experience. But how much should the developer be concerned with coding the user experience into a website or application? There are plenty of facets of any website that cannot be taken care of in Photoshop.
For instance, we recently created a contest page for a client where the user enters a contest by filling out their email. There are small coding details added to this site that not many people would notice, but that add to the overall user experience. This includes a slight shake of the entry box if you try to submit an entry without entering your email address. If you try to enter twice, you will receive a note saying you have already entered. Traditional feedback is always done by highlighting the incorrect field and usually a message, some don’t have any at all which would leave the user clueless.
While those things seem like small additions to a complex site, the feedback helps the user understand exactly what they are doing. You can’t necessarily design feedback into Photoshop or other design tools.
In another example, we our blog site loads more stories as you scroll down. It would have been easy to paginate this site, so the user has to click to the next page for more stories (similar to how Google works). But we thought it would make an impact to help them easily get to more stories. A potential problem with this is when trying to get to the page footer, it’s almost impossible to get to it since stories are just added when the user scrolls down. Our solution to that was to stop loading stories if the user is scrolling down at a faster rate than normal rate.
No one would say it’s a bad user experience if you don’t make an effort to create these user experiences, but you can do so much to improve it. Good development is always about going above and beyond.
Because the best websites are not static, the developer always has to have the user in mind. When the designer and developer are both trained to put the user experience first, as well as working together, it creates the best experience possible for the user. Developers aren’t wired to view a site from the eyes of the user, so they need to make a conscious effort to think about it.
If you don’t think about the user, it won’t work. And in the end, user experience benefits everyone.
Ready to focus on user experience? Let’s chat!