5 basic interface levels
During negotiations, we periodically come across the fact that potential customers do not fully understand the site development process. Accordingly, arise questions like: why do we make sites long and relatively expensive compared to other offers on the market in the style of “Site for 2 weeks for 300-400$”?
Remember how you occasionally encounter sites on the Internet that you feel uncomfortable with, where you don’t like the design or the interface. It’s hard to buy something or find contact details. Other sites are distinguished by beauty, simplicity and user friendliness, but these resources are the end result of painstaking work on the project.
Jess Garrett’s book „Elements of Interaction Experience” highlights several levels of project work that lead to the development of a user-friendly product interface.
This is the level that customers usually look at, and mistakenly attribute it to the functionality. During the negotiations, we often heard: “I need a simple site,” and the client shows a market leader’s site that is simple from his point of view. Such a site is made in white, where the imaginary simplicity of the “surface” hides the complex mechanics of the project. However, the Customer intuitively perceives white and light as simple, primitive, cheap, without realizing that this is only a cover. The surface level is a visual component, the site interface from the side of visitor.
At this level, the Customer wants to see buttons, forms or sliders in a certain place on the site. For the developer, this level is very important, as it affects the usability of the page. It means that, all the elements should be in their usual and understandable places for the visitor – phone number, cart, feedback buttons.
At this level, we plan comfortable user navigation across sections of the site. The quality of the development of the structure determines how quickly the user gets to the page of the product or service that he needs. Also, the structure should correspond to the search keywords of users for the effective SEO. The famous 3-click rule is implemented exactly at this level.
Feature set level
A set of features – this is the functionality of the site, which is hidden under the cover of a simple white site 🙂 Behind the appearance of the site are all kinds of search and order forms, a cart and other tools. A set of features is determined after understanding the wishes of the customer at the strategy level. In particular, how and why our site will be useful to the visitor.
The level of the site’s strategy is the most important, but often ignored by the Customer. Discussing the strategy together with the Customer is necessary to outline the goals of the site, discuss the target audience and decide which tasks or needs of users the site will solve and satisfy.
As you can see, the development includes many stages, which, cannot be done within 2 weeks. For example, the only analytics gathering process with discussions may take a week. Speed, as you know, is important, but not while developing a site.