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Why put usability first


With web design, when we think of flow we usually mean "task flows" or "flow charts" but there's another kind of flow that you have to keep in mind. It's that feeling of complete absorption when you're engaged in something you love to do and are not disrupted by frustration or boredom due to tasks that are confusing, repetitive or overly taxing.
Flow, as a mind condition, was primarily proposed by psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and is described by a incorrect sense of time, a low level of self-consciousness, and total participation in the process at hand. Program developers often experience it when they're writing code, gamers might experience it when running Guitar Hero III, Christopher Cross felt it when he started his trip. For designers, it's exactly the feeling we hope to promote in the people who use our sites.
How do we create sites that inspire that experience? Well, it starts with a site that solves a serious problem and is complex enough to require a certain degree of learning by people who use it. The goal should not certainly be to develop a simple site. The goal should be to design a page that is intuitive to navigate no matter how complex it actually is. But wait, you may think, hasn't there been a usability movement in web design over the last couple of years? Yes, but there's a learning curve for any site that want to sort out a complex problem. We shouldn't mix simplicity with an urge to avoid needless complexity.
The trick to make the complex appear friendly is to consider flow in your design. By designing a page that is smooth and intuitive and engages flow, you make people get up-to-speed more quickly, lower the chance that existing users get bored your page and change to a different one and produce users that promote your site to their friends. That way you will get more users, growing activity, and bigger awareness of your site.
The primary step in designing for flow is to determine clear goals for the users. It's vital to develop both a global goal as well as smaller, staged goals. This will help people understand where they're going and what steps they have to take to arrive there.




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