Freshness and Usability Q&A with Motivate Design

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Last month, SiteTuners held a webinar with Tony Brinton and Julia Sloan of Motivate Design, where they talked about the importance of emotions in user experience. We had a number of questions from the audience - some expounding on the topics, others challenging some of the points, all of them great for discussion. We reached out to Tony and Julia, and they answered the most asked questions that day. This is the first of two entries that directly tackle audience questions.



Q: Are there any good B2B examples that utilize emotion, freshness, and delight?

A: Here are a couple:

10,000 Ft. project management tool, designed by Artefact

• This is a recent project we did for an anti-money laundering software. The details are fuzzy due to privacy reasons, but you can see the difference is drastic (bigger buttons, less clutter, smarter layouts and navigational elements) -- the before and after shots are pictured below:

Q: When you don't have a "physical" product - say you're offering SaaS to enterprises - do the design principles of delight still apply? Can you talk about samples and success rates?

A: Yes. Well-organized content, good typography and simple, un-cluttered layouts are important and effective in all business environments. Does any business not care how their customer perceives them? These principles are especially important when the basis of your business/customer relationship exists in the digital space.

Q:  Are there any studies or user surveys that show the different design presentations and elements you showcased, like Harrys.com, are preferred by visitors?

A: It takes only 17 milliseconds for users to form a first impression of a website. Studies have found that that the better the first impression, the the longer the participants stayed on the page. (Think about dating, although we do not want to admit it, looks matter. They draw us to people, we form a perceived connection with them based on how their appearance represents who they are.)

  •  First impressions are 94% design related.
    -http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2012/08/users-love-simple-and-familiar-designs.html

  • Great post on this which references many studies done in this area
    -http://conversionxl.com/first-impressions-matter-the-importance-of-great-visual-design/

  • Excerpt from the article:

    "British researchers analyzed how different design and information content factors influence trust of online health sites.

    The study showed clearly that the look and feel of the website is the main driver of first impressions. Poor interface design was particularly associated with rapid rejection and mistrust of a website. When participants did not like some aspect of the design, the whole website was often not explored further than the homepage and was not considered suitable.

    Similar results were found in a study research for Consumer WebWatch, conducted by Stanford University credibility experts. They found that what people *say* about how they evaluate trust of a website and how they *really* do it are different.

    The data showed that the average consumer paid far more attention to the superficial aspects of a site, such as visual cues, than to its content. For example,
    nearly half of all consumers (or 46.1%) in the study assessed the credibility of sites based in part on the appeal of the overall visual design of a site, including layout, typography, font size and color schemes.

    Great design gets people to trust you and to stick around. Poor design creates mistrust and makes people leave."

Q: Does the value of big imagery drop with an older audience that adopts trends in UX at a slower pace?

A: No, emotional reaction is not dependent on age. This type of engagement/reaction is something that is universally present in all of us. There are scientific reasons why when we look at something we feel “ahh, nice” and for others “I hate this, get me out of here.” A website or application can still utilize imagery and be completely user-friendly, regardless of age or experience with digital tools. Lastly, to elaborate, our point in the webinar was that “big,” fullbleed images are a trend right now - the size is not the most important factor though, it is that they feel authentic and real. These types of images bring boldness, excitement, and authenticity to a page.

Q: Once again, let's look at the Harrys.com example. How does Responsive Design and some of the newer trends fit into the large image and modular content schema you've shown?

A: Large images and grid-based layouts still function properly with responsive design, the elements are merely re-sized and stacked to fit on multiple screen sizes. Tablets have had a large impact on this movement of bolder imagery and less cluttered screens. They challenged our antiquated standards of what a web page should be, and now we see more elements that are less-expected yet feel fresh and modern (e.g. horizontal scrolls, full-bleed images,collapsable menus, bigger buttons and nav. elements, etc.). 

Watch out for the second part of the Q&A with Motivate Design. If you haven't yet, watch the FREE webinar with Tony and Julia.