This is part two of an eight-part design for communication series. This series is adapted from a master’s paper on the intersection of design and technology-mediated communication.
Before getting into the details of how better user experience design helps people connect, it’s important to understand that design is an act of communication. This quote author Everett McKay sums this statement up well, “a user interface (UI) is essentially a conversation between users and a product to perform tasks that achieve a users’ goal.” As designers, we are creating that conversation between users and technology. And to create better channels and networks for communication, we must have a deep understanding of the people with whom we are communicating and gain better insight into their goals. Every decision we make can impact how the channel communicates and aids users in achieving those goals.
As designer Jan Miksovsky describes, “The moment a user sees your UI, it communicates where they have arrived, what they can do, and how they should do it. The user receives this message from every aspect of your design: graphical and textual, silent and audible, static and moving, intentional and accidental.” Every decision a UX/UI designer makes should add to the conversation with the user, and assist the user in understanding where they are, what they can do, and how they can achieve their end goals. “If your UI has elements that communicate nothing, you should remove them.” (McKay, 2013, pg. 2) Think about this in the context of your website? How does it communicate with your audience? What does it communicate?
Stay tuned for Part Three: Design for Trust! Did you miss a part? Check out the full series here: Design for Communication.