"To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you're going so that you better understand where you are now so that the steps you take are always in the right direction."
- Stephen R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
Building responsive websites today is just as much about the design of the site as it is about understanding your end user. Who is using your site? Why are they using it? Are you selling something, or providing a service? Do you need to interact with your users on a regular basis, or does the product run itself? Determining what your website is and what it should provide is the basis of User Interface Design.
To break it down, UI/UX is, in a nutshell:
1. User Interface (UI), is how a user will interact with your site or application.
2. User Experience (UX) is whether or not those interactions are ultimately effective.
So in the world of responsive design, utilizing the best current technologies available can keep your site fresh for users, while too many bells and whistles may distract and drive away your user base. It's always a fine line determining your typical user and how they interact with a website. Focusing on what you ultimately want to achieve from the very beginning is a crucial factor in determining what a website's functionality should determine.
How do you want the user to interact with your product? Translating the WHY of the website is key to understanding your end user and how to properly display the information in an interactive, elegant, yet most likely simple fashion. In responsive design, what works intuitively on your desktop won't necessarily work on a mobile or tablet. They are different User Experiences, and should be treated as such. Understanding your user will shape the interface for you and make conversions more effective. Buttons, navigations, or carousels are things that the end user ultimately will interact with, but at what percentage? Is it more effective in certain instances to change a carousel out for an image gallery? These are questions which will ultimately be answered with UX testing, and analytics.
The current design trend on the decline right now is the pop-up advertisement. This deters the user from interacting with your site. This is equivalent to walking into a store and having somebody solicit you into buying something while you're just trying to get what you went there for. Would you want to go back there? Of course not, you would go to another store! You are essentially soliciting your users for whatever is in that pop up ad. While data suggests that they do work, a majority of users despise pop-ups and ultimately drop off of websites that continue to use them.
There are countless design trends that have fallen by the wayside in recent years, such as using Flash for animation or giant forms that needed every factoid of your personal information. Keeping current helps to realize that flashy graphics don't necessarily retain users, and giant forms certainly add to your bounce rate in the long run. At AYC Media, we try to push the boundaries of the latest methods of intuitive User Interface Design. We strive to implement the latest in technologies into our projects and revise where ever possible, but sometimes the internet organically helps us with these matters.