While there is a vast array of areas that cover UX design, from usability and function to design and branding, each aspect holds about the same weight in terms of importance to the final product. However, as is true in any new relationship, first impressions matter. The first thing a user sees when arriving at a brand’s website is its design and presentation. The brand has one chance to make a good first impression on the user, setting up the user’s emotions as they browse the rest of the site. So, as we look at some of the best UX websites and apps, can we define what makes a design look good?
The best way I could think of defining a certain set of rules was by comparing three different websites from three different industries and finding commonalities between all three. The three that I chose are Intuit’s turbotax.com, Spotify’s app, and the Yukon1000.com.
As I was browsing each site, there were three common functions of each design that stood out to me.
- Consistent spacing and font throughout each page. Each page was clearly aligned with the same dimensions, an area that is off-putting when done incorrectly. Here on the turbotax website, the consistent use of space as you move through each screen is very pleasant and easy to use.
- Inviting color palette and aesthetics. While you might not think Turbotax has a “pretty” website. I think it is important to remember that the colors of the website fit the vibe of the intended use of each user when they use the site. Or here on the Yukon Race’s website the orange and black are perfect and fitting for “the world’s toughest survival and endurance race.”
- Theme consistency in each new feature or page. Whether it be a website or a flyer, too often I have experienced designers get carried away because they enjoy showing off their artistic ability in as many ways possible. It can be boring “not reinventing the wheel.” To me variation is important to keep a user’s attention, but too much variation can do just the opposite. Spotify’s app is one of the best.
One website I would invite you to browse that I feel does not meet the criteria listed above is a company called, Global Holdings.
Throughout their website, they lack in two of the three areas. Here are some examples:
- Lacks consistent spacing and font throughout each page.
Global spacing in very inconsistent as you move throughout their website. As you can see in the images above, the spacing is very inconsistent and almost random in some cases.
- No consistency among themes of pages.
There is a lack of consistency amongst themes on different pages throughout the website. For the most part, each pages’ design looks good on its own but put together looks awkward. The curved edges of the boxes are different from page to page. The background is often not similar in design.