Breakout Session I: More Than Making It Look Good: User Experience and Design

Apr 12, 2017, 8:30 AM
 - 
9:30 AM
In 2016, Washingtonian.com significantly increased traffic to its website by greatly simplifying its web design - proof that less is more when it comes to user experience. Many news organizations still haven’t mastered this - sites are still full of buttons, links, thumbnail photos and other distractions, not to mention ad-server calls that bog down page loading. Some of the best thinkers in user experience and design talk about best practices in designing for user utility and about using scientific (and metrics) approaches to creating designs that maximize user engagement, traffic and revenue.
2017 Session Recap

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Good web design is essential for creating a good user experience. Here are 10 tips to consider.
          - Stop focusing on the home page – focus on the story page.  Use Adobe Spark to pull in a variety of elements.
          - Keep navigation and hierarchy simple –  keep it simple and uncluttered.
          - Think small – small tweaks can have a big impact – focus on photos and headlines.
          - Get off the desktop – many users visit your site from a mobile device.  Check multiple types of phones to see how your content is visible.
          - Design in browser – avoid static design, and design using the same technology that powers your site. Use a heatmap to see where visitors are clicking on your site - Zarget offers a free trial.  Pages should load in less than two seconds.
          - Think holistically – keep the branding consistent across all platforms – logo, color scheme, typography, etc.
          - Make peace with digital ads – they help pay some of the bills, and they can, and should be, useful
          - Use atomic design - identify shared components rather than designing individual pages.
          - Get accessible – anyone, regardless of ability, should be able to use your content – consider contrast of colors on site, type size, add captioning to video, etc.
          - Talk to users – if you’re making decisions in a vacuum, you’re probably making the wrong decisions.

  • Patrick-Kirchner-photo

    Patrick  Kirchner 

    Designer, Art Director, LNP Media Group
    Full bio ››
  • bri-piccari

    Bri  Piccari 

    Designer, Developer, Industrial Resolution
    Full bio ››
  • brad_headshot

    Bradford  Campeau-Laurion 

    Chief Strategy Officer, Alley Interactive
    Full bio ››
  • patrick-thornton

    Patrick  Thornton 

    Director of User Experience, CQ Roll Call
    Full bio ››