User Experience (UX) is fast becoming an important way to create a competitive advantage for one product over another. One reason why it’s so powerful is because the end user may have no idea what makes using one product superior to another they just come away from the experience happier.
From a portfolio website perspective I’m sure you can imagine why it’s important that your potential clients have a good experience using your site over your competitors even if they don’t know why.
When creating APhotoFolio websites I came up with a list of UX practices based on my experience as a Photography Director and from reading several books that I then built into the sites. Here are some examples:
Where Am I?
Nobody likes being lost and a website with hundreds of images can be an easy place to get lost. We give users visual clues where they are using physical indicators, color and boxes.
What is important here?
Nothing teaches you the value of hierarchy like working at a magazine. Hierarchy on a website helps the user determine what is most important on the page, where to go first and how to navigate the site. You can easily create hierarchy on our sites with size, position and color of text on the menu.
Which things belong together?
We give you precise control over the spaces between items because grouping is another important user feedback to help determine what belongs together.
How much is here?
Often overlooked on websites is letting the user know how much content is available for them to see. It’s easy in the physical world to look at the size of a store and quickly determine how much is available and how much time it might take to look, but online it can be quite difficult. That’s why a menu that shows everything available, thumbnail grids and numerical feedback are important parts of our websites.
How clear is the communication?
We give you words, icons and color to communicate with, but I believe simplicity is most important. A site should be clear in its mission. If there’s anything that separates APF websites from the rest of the pack it’s our commitment to simplicity.