The Concept Of User Centered Web Design

Description: The visitor is always the most important person as far as a webmaster is concerned, which is why making use of user centered web design is to your distinct advantage.

User centered web design is all about putting the visitors in the driving seat when it comes to finding and viewing your website. Not everyone uses the same browser and not everyone has the same preferences when it comes to looking at web pages. A typeface that one particular person finds easy to read might not appeal to someone else; similarly the size of the font being used can present problems for people who need glasses to view what's on their computer screen.

This is where user centered web design comes into play. The interface you like to use isn't necessarily the one your visitors will enjoy, so by taking a more flexible approach to web design you can make your website more accessible to even more people.

The fact is that how a website looks plays a great part in how long visitors hang around before going elsewhere. It may also be the case that your website looks great in Internet Explorer? but it doesn't fare so well in Firefox. If you design your site rigidly so that it works well when viewed in Internet Explorer, you may lose all the people who find it and have trouble viewing it using a Firefox browser.

But user centered web design is also about making the experience as easy and as user friendly as possible for the visitor. In this sense you should ensure that every aspect of your site is easy to negotiate, easy to use and doesn't cause any problems whatsoever. Make sure all the files you use are as small as possible to make for fast downloading. Don't keep your visitors waiting.

Another aspect to remember is not to talk down to your visitors. Just because you want to make things simple for them, that doesn't mean you should regress too much. You need to maintain a balance between being too simple and too complicated. Giving people the right information in the right place at the right time is an essential part of what user centered web design is all about.

Finally, bear in mind that this can be an ongoing process. You can always improve on your current website, no matter how good it might be. Invite comments from your visitors, as they will be only too willing to tell you what's wrong with your site - as well as what's right with it.

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