LEARNABILITY IN WEB DESIGN; SOME BEST PRACTICES
7-4-2021 by Nisrin P S
While building a website, it’s not just the beautiful layout and great content that matters. It is also important to have a user interface that’s easy to understand and simple to learn.Thats where the term learnability enters.
Learnability in a website aims at designing a clear interface that users can quickly catch and pick up. Well, you don’t need to provide a manual to educate your users on how to use your website. And if you do, it’s a disaster. That’s why learnability is important.
IMPORTANCE OF LEARNABILITY
There are a lot of reasons why you should consider providing a learnable user interface.
- Reduces support requests: Nowadays, users can adopt a new interface quickly than before. Providing a clear interface makes their tasks quicker and thus receives more value from your tool. Thus a clear interface reduces the number of support requests.
- Better customer experience: a user who can quickly learn your tool ,due to a clear interface will have a better experience. They can save a lot of time and this increases the customer satisfaction
- Attracts users: a complex interface scares users. They will look for easier alternatives and if you can provide one, they will be loyal to you. Thus learnability matters in retention rate.
It’s not an easy task to build a learnable website. But there are certain techniques which could help you build one. Let’s explore the best practises to enhance learnability.
Consistency refers to the predictability in interfaces. This predictability between interfaces leads to learnable patterns, which are easy to grasp. This applies to everything ranging from sidebar menus to icons and calls for actions, even the colour of a certain link.
You should maintain consistency in case of design, colours and layouts in all your interfaces. If you keep this consistency, they will be familiar with the design and would know how to interact with it.
Familiarity makes use of mental models. It allows a user to learn new interfaces quickly based on past knowledge. A user can transfer their mental model of one interface to another interface. Thus they use their pre-existing knowledge of interfaces in adapting to new interfaces.
Familiarity can create reliability and helps users feel confident in exploring unfamiliar interfaces. Reliability is the key to remove fears to adapt a new tool.
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Feedback is one of the words you will find in every web design book. It is important and one of the common forms of feedback is hyperlink feedback.
Feedback can be very subtitled. Like a colour change or checkbox being checked. It’s referred to as micro interactions. These are crucial to the user as this is the evidence that what they did affected the page. So make sure you give appropriate reactions and feedback to users. It makes their journey less confusing and a lot nicer.
Make use of what existing
Rather than reinventing, try and make use of already existing design solutions. This will add familiarity to your design.
Stick to the industry proven and best practices. Stick with what works and what is being used still. Don’t do something new that will only confuse the users. You should know if your users do not understand your designs. so that you can update with much clearer designs .
If you want to launch a new product which requires a disruptive user interface, you can’t depend on the old tips.
In this case, you can improve the learnability through storytelling. Stories help to make the information easily understandable and also memorable. Visual storytelling is preferable. Design an interactive story that guides the viewer through your interface operations. Try to keep it short and engaging.
There are many tips to boost learnability. But all the practices rely on pattern recognition. So always focus on the user’s previous knowledge while designing so that they can find patterns and follow accordingly. This makes learning quicker. Invest more time in improving the learnability of interface. You might be surprised by the results!
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