Usability and the utility, not the visual design, determine the success or failure of a web-site. Since the visitor of the page is the only person who clicks the mouse and therefore decides everything, user-centric design has become a standard approach for successful and profit-oriented web design. After all, if users can’t use a feature, it might as well not exist.
Basically, users’ habits on the Web aren’t that different from customers’ habits in a store. Visitors glance at each new page, scan some of the text, and click on the first link that catches their interest or vaguely resembles the thing they’re looking for. In fact, there are large parts of the page they don’t even look at.
Most users search for something interesting (or useful) and clickable; as soon as some promising candidates are found, users click. If the new page doesn’t meet users’ expectations, the Back button is clicked and the search process is continued.
1. Don’t make users think
2. Don’t squander users’ patience
3. Manage to focus users’ attention
4. Strive for feature exposure
5. Make use of effective writing
6. Strive for simplicity
7. Don’t be afraid of the white space
8. Communicate effectively with a “visible language”
9. Conventions are our friends
10. Test early, test often