1. Consistency. To prevent confusion and anxiety, a site should be graphically and interactively consistent from page to page, section to section, web design even sub-site to sub-site (for larger sites). Pages should share the same basic layout grids, graphic themes, editorial conventions, and hierarchies of organization. Users shouldn’t have to remember what the elements mean from one page to another, which means using the same buttons or interactive icons, the same terminology, the same organization of actions throughout the site to help to reduce memory load.
2. Interaction. Interaction should be predictable, visible and reversible. When the user clicks a button, something on the screen should change so the user knows the system has registered the action. When possible, offer a preview of the results of an action. Any delay intrudes on users’ tasks and erodes confidence in the system. Users feel more comfortable with interfaces in which their actions do not cause irreversible consequences. Users should feel confident exploring and know they can try an action, view the result, and undo the action if the result is unacceptable.
3. Instruction. Design that promotes multiple, open channels of communication between the company and the consumer establishes trust and credibility. So go ahead and tell people what to do. Don’t make them think, guess or wonder. Some users like more instruction than others; that’s why knowing your users web design is essential when it comes to assisting their process on a site. Help them find information quickly and easily. Use text links, title tags, or hovers to give instructions. Let them know how long something will take to download and where their system is in the downloading process.
4. Choices. Offer users more than one way to find what they’re looking for. Allow them to choose the method of interaction that is most appropriate to their situation and then support alternate interaction techniques. Within the same user group, some may prefer text links over graphic links. Some may always use the search field first, while others may go for the index or site map. Flexible interfaces can accommodate a wide range of user skills, physical abilities, interactions, and usage environments.
5. Control. Personalization is the ultimate in control, especially on sites visited or used regularly, such as transaction-oriented sites. Allowing a user to personalize the site for their interests and preferences can make the interface feel comfortable and familiar to each one, which leads to higher productivity and user satisfaction. Allowing users to decide how the page is laid out, which elements are hidden and web design which are visible, can save them time and hassle when accessing frequently used functions. Text size is another element many people have personal preferences for. People with vision problems like to have consistently large text displayed, but many sites take control of text size through CSS.