Keep websites clear and simple

Feedback from user research that UXB have conducted throughout a variety of website design projects highlights the importance of good navigation and design.

Avoid feature bloat

People say, forget features. Especially the one's dreamed up internally. They want simple, clean, clear routes to what they're trying to find. Here's what they said about navigation, content and design.

In their own words

"I like clean sites without too much going on and without too many different fonts etc - just good minimal and clean design. I'd rather have a site that looks good and loads quickly than one with lots of animations and video etc which takes time to load. I want to be able to get around quickly and to be able to get back to where I've been quickly (some sites have a list of recently viewed products which is quite helpful)."

"Slow response when I click on something. Too many irritating boxes to click on before I get to what I want. I want to see a clear, easy to use page on the screen."

"Messy sites with overcrowded screens. Less than comprehensive sites."

"It shouldn't matter but when a website looks too basic and homemade (or the design is really dated) it does taint the credibility of the site (you think "is this a 'two-bit' operation?", "will I see my purchase anytime before Christmas?"). Shoppers are fickle (as there's so much choice!) so something slick and professional looking will keep me on the site longer, browsing until I find something I like."

"Too many fripperies - images that fade in and out or move around. Websites that won't work going backwards, so that you can't get back to Google, say, from the site's home page. I end up closing the internet browser and opening it again, which is very irritating."

"The colour scheme is important I think. It only gets as far as irritating me if it's difficult to read one colour against another though."

"Complex sites that are difficult to navigate and unclear instructions."

"I'm irritated by complex, overdesigned websites. I like clear legible design that is easy to navigate."

"Slow response time e.g. images that take ages to download - are also irritating - I'd prefer smaller scale lower res images to look through with the option to see high res images."

"Bad navigation, busy sites with too many pop ups, heavy advertising messages, no contact numbers, no contact names, clumsy payment page."

"Ads popping up."

"Sites with too much detail. Sites that do not let you use the 'Back' option."

"Nice clean design, a quick way of browsing images - a slideshow is not quick enough - users need to be able to flick through at their own rate."

"Site that take a age to download have annoying pop ups and play irritating music."

"What irritates me most is long downloading, too much flashing, too many adverts on the sides and bad design."

"When you click to reach a sites home page and it has to load in an intro page and there is no option to 'skip intro'."

"Buttons that do nothing! Over complex websites."

"Web sites that land you on a page from which you are unable to return to the internet."

"Unnecessary functions are a distraction and a nuisance. A simple efficiently running site is much better (to me) than one that is overloaded with features."

"I always skip those fancy acrobatic flash intros. I find them self-indulgent and irrelevant on the whole."

"Personally I hate sites designed in flash, they all look the same and are a pain to get around. The internet should be used for infomation to be spread clearly, not induce epileptic fits!"

"To be honest I am not the right person to ask. I dont have much patience and I dont really understand how they work. I just like it to be as simple as possible."