I came onboard an internet company specializing in residential Real Estate in October 2016. With a background in technical support and some vaguely suggested skills in Adobe products referenced on my resume, I got a job focusing on the quality assurance and user experience aspects of the website development process. Finding the bugs programmers leave behind and advocating for website modifications that keep pace with the latest advancements in usability and design trends from the field was surprisingly intuitive. You don’t know how much you know about best practices in user interface navigation and the internet until you find yourself working in that space. Having to learn over 15 years of layers of coding decisions for a rental-leasing website… not so easy.
A rental-leasing website has a larger process loaded in the background than I would have ever imagined before beginning down this career path. The more features your site offers, the greater clarity necessary for each feature. Without clarity, your users can get lost in the countless number of choices and decisions that have to be made before accomplishing a task, what out of habit I now call getting to Z.
Save your users both time and frustration by supporting a simple user interface, where the most necessary elements stand out from the other great and additive features your website offers. If you enter the mobile marketplace, which you should because mobile traffic is growing fast, narrow down the features available to reduce clutter or find a new layout that maintains it all. Consumers have a lot of choices in the e-marketplace. If your users feel they accomplished their goals through you, they will come back, positively reinforced by their last experience. You don’t need a Master’s in Human-Computer Interaction to empathize with the people using your product. Always consider how they will navigate your website, from the moment they enter to the moment they close your site.