Tag Archives: web designer

Understanding Web Acceleration

web acceleration

Usually, a high traffic website must support hundreds of thousands or millions of users. Not to mention the demand of user for a fast and reliable website. Therefore, to meet such high volumes, some web developers prefer to add more server hardware.

However, this method can be expensive. So, in order to reduce your operational cost, you can use web acceleration as another option. Web acceleration produces better speed delivery of both static and dynamic content. Furthermore, it will enable your web servers to handle more client request without the need for more hardware.

In general, web acceleration is a content delivery network. It aims to speed up the transfer of content between web servers and client browsers by utilizing a variety of techniques such as caching and compression.

HTTP Optimization
Load balancer or reverse proxy server is one of the primary ways to accelerate web traffic as it flows between clients and backend servers. However, this can create inefficiencies in server utilization and cause poor performance for other users as well.

In HTTP optimization techniques, the load balancer is in between clients and servers. It forwards requests for content to backend servers in a streamlined and efficient way. Therefore, this method maximizes speed and server utilization.

Caching and Prefetching
Rather than fetching it over and over from back end servers, web acceleration server cache or locally store commonly requested information. This will avoid any wasted server resources and increase the speed of content delivery. In fact, to prevent serving content that is out of date, the web accelerator will refresh cached content at a specified interval.

Furthermore, the web accelerator is also able to prefetch and cache content that the user is likely to ask for, such as the next page of a document. This method will enable web accelerator to deliver the content immediately after the user requests it.

Compression
To reduce transfer times, a web accelerator will compress large files, such as image or video files.

SSL/TLS Processing
In order to serve content faster, some advanced web accelerators can offload computationally intensive processing from backend servers. For example, encryption and decryption of documents during transmissions secured with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS).

 

5 Killer Ways to Influence User Behavior

In order to influence the behavior of users, websites should employ psychological techniques. Hence, web designers should understand how mind works and how people make decisions. This is crucial as people will interact to a site through site’s design, so your users will determine whether your site has been successfully interpreted what they want. Here are 5 killer ways that can influence your user behavior.

  1. Apply the Scarcity Effect

People tend to take action when they know that something has limited quantities or availability. Therefore, you can create something that others might not have access, this makes it becomes exclusive. Besides, people also more appreciate things coming in limited quantities. This is called the scarcity effect.  So, you can use this to your advantage such as using timers in your design elements while your user is making decision.

You can also show users quantities of certain items are limited, or have flash sales on items that only last a certain time on ecommerce site. Moreover, you can allow users to upgrade and access exclusive premium content on a content-focused website. If you’re releasing a new product or major update, give people ‘exclusive invitations’ and  let them only invite a limited number of friends to have a sneak preview.

  1. Apply Persuasion Tactically over the User Journey

Persuasion is a combination of stimulation, context, and behavior. Therefore, it cannot work in isolation. To persuade more users, you can apply scarcity as a persuasive message, ask a high price for money, or create social proof to validate your product with the wisdom of the crowds. There are three fundamental dimensions of consumer behavior, such as emotion, motivation, and ability to use persuasion effectively. Segment strategically in a data-driven manner, gain insight into their journey, and understand the assumptions and values that your customers are bringing into the process. Then apply persuasive techniques tactically, whether it is aiming at an impulsive click or tap, or to improve the brand perception (and re-engagement) over the course of several visits. But, doing it the other way will alienate and infuriate your users.

  1. Design a Great Service

To influence user behavior, you may have to involve cognitive biases, and then do a bunch of A/B tests. You’ll get some uplifts and you’ll probably feel good about yourself. In fact, the best way is to influence user behavior is to design a great service that fulfils user needs. When you fulfil their needs, good service comes along the way.

  1. Know your Boundaries

By knowing your boundaries, you will not approach a project where there was the potential to use design for the wrong ends. This encourages me to develop my own code of conduct:

  1. Don’t trick
  2. Don’t cheat
  3. Don’t lie
  4. Provide positive benefit
  1. Consider What People are Trying to Achieve

Since we don’t know what causes of behavior, we tend to guess and misallocate our resources. Apart from intuition, which is hard to reproduce, the best clues I’ve been able to find have come from a process of analysis of ‘jobs to be done’ for the consumer. This is not a utilitarian view of intention or a measurement of economic value. In fact, it’s an understanding of the urges people feel that comple them to do things.

So, it is important to understand what they are actually trying to achieve and provide ways for them to achieve that. This is what UX analysis and design is all about.

How to Avoid Design Fails through a Usability Test

how-to-avoid-a-design-fails-through-a-usability-test

As web designers, one of the lessons that will come in handy is learning objectives. With these objectives, a designer will figure out whether a design has passed or failed a usability test. Here are few things that you should know.

Verbs are Magical

One of the books that can teach you about learning objectives is George Piskurich’s Rapid Instructional Design. These books will provide you with list of behaviors to start your success criteria.

For example, you need to describe or demonstrate your objectives for comprehension rather than just understand it.

After obtain a higher level, a participant might develop their work stage into “explain” or “organize”, and even “create” or “evaluate”.

Think through the End of the Session

When you start planning your next usability test and you’re working on tasks, you can ask yourself a simple question like, “What should a user be able to do with this design?”

This question will take you to these answers:

  • Track three hours of time for a particular project;
  • Generate an invoice to a client based on that tracked time;
  • Describe the difference between tracking time and logging time.

Those three statements will guide you to give three success criteria to the participants. Success is different with tasks, even though it may sound similar. Success criteria are for your team, while the task is for the participant in the context of the usability session. In fact, in the explanation above, you’ll see that success criteria are about describing something. For instance, following-up question to a task rather than completing a task.

Stakeholders Love Success Criteria

Since stakeholders’ orientation is on your results rather than on your process. They will be terribly irritated, if your presentation of the results is vague.

So, using success criteria can help you clarify whether your design is really successful. They make it easier to share those results.

To help you track your success criteria, you can create a simple table with a color coding, such as below:

web designer

On the table, you can find where the problems are and grounds the results in the experiences of actual participants.