UX Principle #9 - Consistency, Clarity and Standards

  • By
    Brooke Cowling
    September 27, 2018
    June 15, 2022

In case you missed it, yesterday on the blog we talked about why you need to think about all customer intents in order to make the experience efficient and flexible for the user. Today, we’re discussing consistency, clarity and standards. Let’s look at them one by one.

Consistency

Make your site consistent in terms of icons, colours and styles, this will keep it clear for your customers. Mismatching colours, call to action buttons and font sizes all add to a user’s cognitive load. Make them feel at ease while browsing your website. Also, try to match your offline presence with your online presence - that is consistency. People these days expect the same level of consistency in a digital world as they do in the offline world.

Take Argos for example. In a retail environment, customers are used to the 7-digit Argos code. They don’t need to show this code online but they do anyway, they are keeping their online world consistent with their offline environment.

Clarity

Make your website clear and clean cut, users should easily be able to recognise and locate the categories, menus and filters. Users now, more than ever, want speed and great usability. Attention spans have decreased and by keeping your design and UX clear and straightforward, you’ll ensure a much better experience. Cluttering your site with too many options, images and copy just hinders the user experience.

Standards

There are many conventional formats and standards that have evolved over time. Stick with the normal standards that people are used to. For example, when users see a hamburger menu, they know when they click on it something will drop down. Millennials know that the save icon means save even though they didn’t grow up with floppy disks. People are used to the ‘like’ option on Facebook so that’s been adopted worldwide. A shopping basket signifies a place where you can see the items you’re planning to buy. Don’t change it. All these factors help reduce your users cognitive load.

So, to recap, keep you website consistent, match the digital world with the offline world and if something works, don’t change it.

Sunday, last but not least, UX Principle #10 – user control and freedom.

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