The Mutual Relationship of Ergonomics & Design
Must a website be ergonomic or well designed? At first glance, we tend to judge a website based on its look. Thus, we might be tempted to think that the way a website is designed is the most important aspect of all. However, why do we tend to get annoyed when we surf on a website whose design is well done, but on which we cannot seem to find what we’re looking for?
The answer: a website needs to be ergonomic if you want your guests to feel comfortable on it.
First, we ought to mention it: since reading online is a lot more demanding than reading on paper, most Internet users skim through the information.
In that light, the challenge resides in making sure your guests find the information and understand the website’s ergonomic principles in a few seconds.
Any website’s efficiency leads to a relative satisfaction on the user’s part. Thus, a well conceived website is generally custom-made for its target audience. For instance, the ergonomics of a website for children will be adapted to this clientele (highly simplified surfing scenario, uncomplicated menus, short bits of textual content, call-to-action buttons in the form of big icons with a distinct colour for each one, etc.).
However, it’s not wiser to completely forget design in favour of ergonomics. Indeed, if a website has high-quality ergonomics, but a very poor visual identity, the user will be just as confused.
I sincerely think that ergonomics play a big part in a website’s efficiency, but that, at the same time, the design’s coherence also has an important role. That is why at Rinaldi, when we conceive our wireframes, we try our best to work on the website’s design in parallel, in order to achieve perfect cohesion.
In my opinion, ergonomics and design do not constitute two distinct worlds, but rather a single unified one: “ergonomics + design.” I believe it’s the key to a website’s success.