Web Design: Avoiding the Curse of Knowledge

Good web design always keeps the end user in mind. To build an effective website, designers need to continually put themselves in the shoes of regular users. This sounds easy but the longer a designer spends on a site, the harder it gets to see the design through fresh eyes. This problem is commonly called the curse of knowledge – a form of cognitive bias that occurs when a person assumes everyone has the same baseline knowledge to understand a problem.
When it comes to web design, the curse of knowledge happens when a designer spends so much time with a site that they assume everyone has the same in-depth knowledge of its navigation, content, and structure. Avoiding this problem is difficult, but keeping these three common user experience (UX) flaws in mind will help to avoid the curse of knowledge:

  1. Unclear Navigation – Navigation is the backbone of good UX in web design. It should be easy to find and clearly differentiated. User’s expect to navigate around a site quickly, and making them hunt for navigation options will ruin their experience. Also, navigation options should be clear and simple – users shouldn’t have to guess which heading will take them to their desired content.
  2. Confusing Content – Web users don’t read content, they skim it – and web sites should be designed accordingly. That means breaking up content into easy-to-digest blocks that are quickly skimmable. It also means making sure that all the content relates directly to the page it appears on – too often content gets spread across a website without a clear structure in mind.
  3. Sprawling Structure – Although related to navigation and content, the structure of a website should be optimized for user experience independently of the other two considerations. Effective websites have a clear, hierarchical structure that gives shape to the entire website. As the number of pages on a site grows, the need for a well-organized structure grows with it. Pages and subpages all need to be organized in a way that is intuitive the end-user, otherwise they are likely to get lost and bounce from your site.

User experience is a huge part of web design – because it ultimately affects the bottom line of your business. Poorly designed sites lead to high bounce rates and low conversions – while a well-designed, intuitive site builds confidence in your brand. There are dozens of build-it-yourself providers out there, but it takes a professional to truly understand the needs and habits of end users – and design with them in mind.
At Fusion Group USA we extensively test all our web designs to ensure top-notch user experience is coupled with beautiful designs and technically-correct coding. Contact us today to see how we can make a difference through user experience for your business.

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