/ ux

You Can Learn A lot from a Light Switch

You open the door to a room you’ve never been to before.

You reach to turn on the light without looking.

If you succeeded, you never really thought about it and continued with your task. If you didn’t find the switch, you had to stop and look around for it, maybe going so far as to use the flashlight on your phone to find it.

The user’s experience is an important element that should be brought in early and often during the design and development of any business or product. If the user has a poor experience, it could affect their trust in your abilities. If they enjoy their time, they may read more, learn more, or buy from you. They could even become your biggest champions.

The designer or architect of the light switch thought about the experience you would have walking through the door to the house or room. The placement of that light switch came from a set of specifications they use regularly. Likely, this placement is carried over from thousands of prior drawings placing the light switch similarly. This pattern is now something we have come to expect.

The look of the light switch could be unappealing, but if you succeeded in turning it on, as expected, it could be argued that it is a great design. Installing a good looking light switch would be the icing on the cake.

A great design puts many elements together in a way that gives the user what they are looking for quickly and easily. Keeping it simple is the key. It is important the user doesn’t need to think about anything other than what they are there to do.

While designing marketing materials and websites, familiar elements and metaphors provide a platform of commonality that builds a pleasing experience for the user. Breaking up a page with images, subheadings, and quotes give the eyes a visual break, reducing eye strain.

As in physics, friction will affect the experience of the user. If the user is reading an article, there shouldn’t be pop-ups that stop the process of reading. Pop-ups interrupt the reader, giving them pause to reconsider why they are there. This moment could send the user elsewhere to read from another source, perhaps never to return.

Are they filling out a form? Ask only for information that relates to the purpose of the form. Unrelated questions give the person a chance to ask why they are filling out a form. If the purpose is to build leads or accept donations, unnecessary questions can cause them to leave without completing a request, ending the relationship.

Building a platform or document using a framework that matches the personalities of the user, will build trust and expectations that become synonymous with the business or product. Making the user experience a pleasure and engaging is the icing on the cake.

After all, the goal is to create a positive light switch moment for your users.

Darren Odden

Darren Odden

The charismatic megafauna of love. Built by Divine Design architecting strategies designed to engage. Frank Lloyd Wright shed a single glistening tear at the beauty of his application architecture.

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You Can Learn A lot from a Light Switch
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