Four Aspects of a Usable Modern Web Interface

1. The visual design

Remarkable designs are very creative and push towards the extreme limits of conventional (e.g. safe) designs. They’re distinguished, and they make memorable positive impressions on the people that see them.

But how much is too much?

Keeping your visual design simple yet memorable is a challenge, but a challenge that you must be able to negotiate when it comes to creating usable designs.

To improve the aesthetics of your interface, use white space to visually organize the page. Grouping related design elements and separating distinct elements can aid users in quickly finding the set of information they’re interested in.

The graphics you use should be able to illustrate, inform and aid the readers. Visual clutter should be avoided, and every visual element on your interface should serve a purpose.

In the following example, you can see how Bigo & Twigetti arranges visual elements by spacing them out and making them purposeful as visual cues as to what the website is about.

Bigo & Twigett

2. Dynamic feedback

Do you ever get bored of the standard static site feedback (the ones that appear after you’ve filled out your web form, for example)?  I do.

Today’s web interfaces are evolving in such a way that you don’t know what to expect when you get to a website. I like the experience where my actions provide a unique response. Appropriate and dynamic feedback gives users an immersive and interesting user experience.

Over at Sergey Tyukanvo’s online gallery, feedback is based on the real world. Users will be more likely to relate to your website if physical analogies and cultural standards are utilized.

Sergey Tyukanvo's online gallery

3. Information architecture

If a user can’t find what he/she wants in as few clicks as possible, they’ll leave. Use metaphors that are easy to identify with. Navigation should come naturally to the user. Controls should be highly visible.

It should be obvious to the user what his/her actions should be on your website, making retrieving information a smooth process. Check out the Coca-Cola site: it’s arranged in a manner that makes it easy to find the information you likely want to know.


4. Constraints

By definition, constraints mean restricting possible actions that can be performed. Another way of looking at it is giving users more control over possible actions that can be performed; a classic half-empty versus half-full glass scenario. That way, they feel like they’ve achieved something.

John Ruppel’s portfolio is a unique example. The options menu allows users to filter between interface styles, backgrounds and categories in a totally efficient manner. Users are, thus, motivated to learn more about these various options they have control over.

John Ruppel's portfolio

27 Comments to “Four Aspects of a Usable Modern Web Interface”

  • Danyell October 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Don’t paint the devil on the wall

  • 3 in 1 jackets October 17, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Smile would be the secret to stay young and cute. Naks, bakit ka nakangiti?

  • Kathy Allen February 22, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    “Great, thanks for sharing this article post.Thanks Again. Great.”

  • floydian8717 August 2, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    We fly the thing up to a height in the stratosphere, release it, fire booster rockets there, and get it into orbit speed and altitude with less fuel than launching it vertically. Why not again???

    I had plans drawn up for a shuttle which would jettison some re-usable jet engines, and use similar rockets to get into orbit.

    I just need my memory refreshed. Thanks. I don’t think I’d get much response from NASA because I know they’re working on just such an idea.

  • stealspartansbcglobalnet August 8, 2013 at 5:49 am

    I mean the $1 re usable ones. i want to design it with a sharpie, but youre supposed to bake it after so it wont rub off. Can this work for the plastic ones??

  • slipknot0129 August 9, 2013 at 1:44 am

    Being used on a steel line, what are the upper limits of pressure that these fittings are designed for? Let me know where you get it from too please since just saying “2000 psi” doesn’t tell me anything…

  • Dr Hank August 14, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Like Me? Say i want them to make me a gun i designed myself will they do it for me. I also have the schematics.

  • Alina Elliott August 14, 2013 at 12:08 pm


    I need to buy a good laptop which is good for graphic design as i am training to become a graphic designer. I will be using photoshop, indesign, illustrator etc on it. I do have a budget of £400 and happy to buy a used laptop.

    Also is mac better than windows? I use windows at the mo.

    Thanks ever so much for any help

  • Moore, Ron August 20, 2013 at 11:48 am

    what is need to design cars? are there any schools in california that specialize in car design? if any, where can i find one. does anone know any good place to go to get the skills?

  • nasty1 September 1, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I have designed the layout for a website similar to craigslist where users can list items they have for sell. I already created the forms for these postings, which was the easy part. Now I want my users to be able to submit these forms and allow others to find them on my website based on the criteria they have selected. How can this be done? Any advice will be helpful

  • Taylor2k September 8, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Okay, I have an Asus Laptop and I want to get a couple of computer games on here.

    Runs on Windows 7
    AMD E-350 Processor 1.60GHz
    RAM: 4.00 (3.60 usable)
    64-bit Operating System.

    Keep in mind I am 15-year-old JUST getting into gaming, keep it simple please.
    I have GameBooster.
    I have Slender: The Eight Pages, but it’s a little slow. Not horribly so, but it will randomly lag.

    Games I would like to play:
    Slender: The Arrival
    SCP Containment Breach
    And so on.
    Is there any way I can play them fairly smoothly? Is there any way I could hook my computer up to my Xbox 360 to play games? I just want the game to move relatively quickly, I don’t care so much about graphics.

    Any solutions OTHER than buying a new computer are welcomed. I DO have an old desktop, but it is very, very old, I think it’s at least 2005-2008ish. Is there anything I can do to make Ye Olde Dionsaur Computer work??

    Much love,

  • HASTHEANSWERS September 14, 2013 at 10:09 am

    My question is more so focused on the aspect of getting the staffed music into a layout program such as InDesign. Is there a way someone would be able to output their file while writing the music in sibelius or finale that would make it a vector or possibly a raster image in order to have it usable in a pagination program?

  • ScRSC September 25, 2013 at 12:24 am

    An electric water heater is designed to produce 50 kW of heat when it is connected to a 240-V source. If the heater is 81 % efficient, how long would it take to heat 53 gal of water from 20 degrees Celsius to 80 degrees Celsius?

    Answer in minutes please!
    Thanks 🙂

  • Jerosh Nagulachandran October 5, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    I own an online business and am looking for a software that will work best for creating promotional banners for the homepage of my website, graphic design abilities for my newsletters, etc.

    I would also like the ability to create an ad that is promoting about 3 different products when when you click on the image for each product you will be taken to that products page.

  • Seth October 8, 2013 at 6:12 am

    We have the design already. We’re just kinda clueless about how we go about making them. We arent some little garage band, we kinda need some quality. lol Help?

  • aamir October 10, 2013 at 12:07 am

    So, what they do is they only accept ‘Korean bank cards’ that are like visa/mastercard but only usable in Korea. Does anybody know of a way to link your visa/mc to one of those cards or w/e so I can pay for Korean mmorpgs??

  • Taylor2k October 13, 2013 at 4:55 am

    I need to design a website and I have little to no html or other code language knowledge. I’m trying to find a program that will allow me to input the information without having to know much. Any suggestions?

  • Death Knight October 16, 2013 at 5:02 am

    I’m not thinking of anything too big, nothing more then the size of a 40 gallon tank, but i would like to do this as a cheaper alternative to buying a big 40 gallon tank. I am wondering however, once i make my calculations on size of the pieces can i just use aquarium sealant because the pieces aren’t too big and make it a usable aquarium? Thanks.

  • Dr Dorian October 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm


    Does anybody knows whether every mouse which is selling in the market from Logitech, Microsoft, Creative and so on contains a patent for its design?? Or is it there is no patent for a computer mouse as it was already released??

    Thank you.

  • nothin_nyce1 October 25, 2013 at 7:11 am

    I am not versed in any of the software others use to create. Is their any free software or online tools I can use to create the design for my clubs membership sticker? Once I get the basic outline I will send it to a sticker company to get it printed.


  • sakyue1993 November 5, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    I have a windows 7 32 bit laptop. It has 4 GB of installed RAM but only 2.70 GB of it is usable. I have read that 3.5 GB of RAM is usable in a 32 bit system if 4 GB of RAM is installed. Please someone help me.
    And please someone tell me how to configure ram in bios too.

  • Franklin Bluth November 13, 2013 at 5:08 am

    We need to make a beam for school and in our design we plan on using a concrete beam with a metal clothes hanger rebar. What kind of material is the typical metal clothes hanger?

  • The Inc November 19, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    I am a total noob at this, but all I know is that to make acrylic paint adhere to fabric, you have to mix it in a 1:1 ratio with a medium.

    I wanted to know what a medium is, and what do you guys recommend using (brand-wise)?

    And also, is there a sealer I can use to coat the design when I’m done?

  • radha November 20, 2013 at 12:45 am

    I work for a privately owned business that was bought out and the new owners found out my skills in design programs such as photoshop (I am also pursuing a degree in marketing atm). Currently I create create the flyers, banners, menus, mass mailers and update our Facebook page with images that I create. I do not want to work here for forever, because the only plus is the experience I am getting. I use my own macbook which I bring to work daily and my own programs to create whatever they want. I am wondering if I leave, do they have the right to any of my creations?

  • krishi November 21, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    I have a cruddy motorola slvr L7 and I can send mp3 files to my phone. They play loudly on the mp3 player, but not as ring tones. They are barely audible as ring tones. What can I do to make all the sounds/tones I have downloaded to my PC usable as actual ring tones?
    Ok when I preview all the ones online they sound loud clear ect. I currently use zedge. Its just once it hits my phone and I try to use them as ringtones that they are so quiet.
    I found a program called ToneThis, and with the free version it uploads both to a phone similar to mine and my carrier, and the sound is perfect. It supports many countries and carriers. Thank you for those who tried.

  • Nick November 22, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I would like to know if there was a standard program used for circuit design and simulation within the EE industry. I am currently learning on Quartus II Web (which is pretty nice).

    Also, is there a generally standard or popular FPGA dev kit that is used?

    Thanks in advanced!

  • Roflcopter November 25, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    I’m 14, and i want to start designing and making some clothes. Any tips would be helpful! I have a sewing machine, which I’m pretty good with. Any tutorials, tips, etc, would be great!