Need for speed
In the modern world, design and functionality is not enough to have the best user experience. The world today demands speed. A slow website will deter users and force them to use your competition instead and we obviously do not want the user to move to another website. Most of the speed factors are already taken care by the developers in the back-end code, however, we designers can also help in making the website faster. There are some small yet significant points that we can keep in mind while working on the front-end of a website to have its speed increased.
There are a number of reasons why the web page may be loading slowly. Some of the most common ways that will result in website to slow down are:
- Unoptimized images – all images need to be compressed.
- Widgets/Plugins – for example social media buttons. Something we think is simple can add a few seconds to your page loading time.
- Incompatible with browsers – for example, flash can seriously slow down a webpage as it isn’t compatible with most mobile devices. You need to ensure your website loads fast on all devices and browsers.
- Bulky code – coding needs to be condensed.
- External media – videos, audio introductions, slide shows, etc can slow down a sites loading speed. Always try to host your content on your own server to boost speed.
The measures we can take to enhance the web page speed, by a designer’s perspective included avoiding drop downs. Designers must avoid using drop down input fields in forms and web pages unless it is a necessity.
While designing a form it is always to be kept in mind that the required fields to have asterisk or must be depicted in a different color than that of optional field to make it better comprehensible for the user. Similarly goes for optional field that it is also depicted in different color than mandatory fields.
Small measures like not restricting delimiter for phone numbers and accepting multiple form of data like alphabets, numbers symbols etc, usage format for parameters, like, currency should be consistent all over the website, e.g., for $100.00, $1,000,000, $1,000,000,000.00, for tables with rows and columns – reorder should be clickable should have functionality like ascending and descending.
We designers aim most on user retention on the website so small measure like this eventually help us in retaining the users on website, as the logic’s implemented in the back-end is seen later, the interface of the website is the first impression on user for the website and it is our target to have the best impression of our website. To achieve the same we keep on updating ourselves with the latest trends of designs.