This is the summary of an article by a guest author for the blog Creately.com. This article discusses the fundamental principles behind user centered design, and how these principles have been used in behavioral marketing to appeal to the subconscious of consumers of various kinds. Here’s the link to the original behavioral targeting article: User Centered Design with Behavioral Marketing.
Gone are the days when Web sites are simply static pages that provide information about various types of products or services. Over the years, they have evolved based on the needs and preferences of Internet users. Just like the computer mouse, which is constantly being improved to provide ease of use and comfort, Web sites are also continuously being crafted based on principles of User Centered Design or UCD.
Elements of UCD
The basic elements of User Centered Design are: accessibility, credibility, language, legibility, visibility, and human factors.
Navigating a Web page should be easy, not complicated; thus, accessibility is a major element of User Centered design. One general rule to remember would be to make sure that getting from one part of the page to another should not take more than three clicks. Being able to change the size of the text or other contents is also a plus.
The more credible a site is, the more the number of visitors it can attract. But what are the signs of credibility? The presence of testimonials, along with people’s contact information, is an example. When visitors see real people patronizing a product or service, then the more they are likely to believe and even try it out. Establishing links with credible groups or figures would also be a great idea, as well as putting up active pages on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites.
When it comes to language, the basic rule is to keep things simple. Avoid technical language, jargon, and other words that ordinary users would not be familiar with. If there is an option to change the language of the text, that would be very helpful, indeed.
On the Web page, texts and other portions should of course be legible and easy to read. The addition of numbers, bullets, and other arrangements can also be done to help improve the legibility of the Web site contents.
This is an essential element to Web page design and navigation. When a visitor logs in a site, can they easily locate the Location Map, Contact Us and other portions of the site? Is the email address or contact number easy to find? By bearing in mind the visibility of these elements, a Web site can either be pleasant to the eye or a pain to navigate.
6. Human Factors
Sometimes, putting up pictures in a Web site is not enough. The human factor is an important in establishing genuine interaction with Internet visitors. Hence, keeping in mind the human aspect of a site would definitely help attract and retain online users.
By taking note of these basic elements of User Centered Design, a Web site can be more successful, and operating a behavioral marketing program would be much more convenient.