Web User Interfaces

Written by Kimberly Clark
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With the increased use of personal computers and the Internet, people have come to expect applications and websites that have friendly user interfaces. This means that they were designed with the user in mind. However, when designing a user interface for a website the most important thing to keep in mind is making the site as easy as possible for the user to navigate.

Basically, a website is comprised of a set of individual pages that are hyperlinked together. Users are not really interested in seeing any of the coding or viewing the full links to the pages they want to view. What they do care about though, is finding the information they are looking for and finding it as quick as possible.

Always Visible

To accomplish this, designers of user interfaces for websites regularly incorporate clearly labeled text, graphics and/or icons into their sites. These items are used to represent links to other portions of the website. The designer can vary the links as well as the graphics used to fit the web page the user is viewing, but the user interface should always include a clear path back to the website's homepage.

In fact it is probably a good idea to provide a navigation bar that has a list of the most important functions or site destinations on it. The options on the bar should be kept simple, yet logical. This bar should also be visible to the user at all times, from every page on the site.


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