Digital marketing is all about driving organic traffic to brand sites and improving conversion rate. That means companies or organizations have to build a website with good discoverability and perform efficient online branding through brand site and other channels such as social media.
Donald Norman’s theory about web design focuses on improving the site’s discoverability (Ref. 1) because that is the prerequisite for having good user experience (UX). A rule to evaluate a site’s usability is ‘do not make me think’ according to Krug (Ref. 2). Any friction or confusion caused by bad use experience could diminish the trust of the site and the brand.
To provide superior UX to web users, site functionality and interface should gain the prominent priority (Ref. 3). Functionality means users can finish their tasks or solve their problems on the website while a good interface enables users to get things done easily and pleasantly. As illustrated in the featured picture of this article, site functionality means affordance, the possibility for users’ taking action on physical or digital object. As pointed out by Norman, affordance is one of the most important fundamental psychological concepts for designing products with discoverability. Other fundamental concepts include signifiers, mappings, and feedback, which in my opinion all work together to provide an efficient and friendly interface for the site (Ref. 1). It is reasonable to regard affordance as functionality while thinking of mappings, signifiers, and feedback as interface – functionality is the purpose; interface is the means to achieve the purpose.
In building a website, designers and developers usually start with structures (navigation), layout, labeling systems (written and visual), and then interactions to realize functionalities. All these fundamental elements of websites work synergistically to deliver an effective and delightful UX to build a trustful brand and a high conversion rate.
- The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition. Donald Norman. November 5, 2013.
- Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (3rd Edition) by Steve Krug. 2014.
- 10 Bad Web Design Examples & Common Errors of Website Designers. Trista. 07/08/2018, https://www.mockplus.com/blog/post/bad-web-design