User Interface and Interactivity

design for digital media environments

User interface Principles

– Knowing your user

– Minimising the load on users

– Preserving Consistencies

– Ensuring flexibility

– Following standards

– Explicit

In order to adhere to these general principles, researching into our target audience has allowed us to come up with a suitable interface design which will appeal to the user. We would want a simple navigation system in order to appeal to the ageing house buyers market. Minimising the load through the use of drop down menus will mean users being able to easily and quickly filter the results location. Keeping it simple through the consistency of graphics and layout whilst following standards will mean users recognising how to navigate through the website easily. The buttons are labeled clearly letting the user know what they will gain by clicking on it. Recognisable symbols such as the magnifying glass will suggest the go or find button.


Code for drop down filter menu


Code for sort option


Finished home page

An interactive site will attract users and make them feel engaged, helping to reach its target audience. I aim to create flippers for the about page which will reveal text when hovered on. Similarly with the help page, in order to make information more engaging I will use jQuery to create an accordion where the answers to the frequently asked questions will be revealed when clicked on.


Interactive flippers


Code for Accordion


Reveals answer when clicked

As websites become more sophisticated users expectations are changing. A more active role is being expected. Not only can the graphics be interactive but user input to an extent. In our web app the use of an add property form will allow users to input their properties to the listings. This adding a different dimension to a passive property site. This as well as a sort and filter will benefit users with results they are looking for, helping to meet expectation.


Research and Privacy

design for digital media environments

Malcom Crompton told the Cebit conference in Sydney that using web 2.0-style services will only succeed if citizens feel completely comfortable with the privacy implications of the service. He goes onto suggest that the exhaustive amount of information asked without being reassured by any statement of accountability , the citizen is likely to choose either not to engage or engage in an unproductive way. Users will act with defiance when they feel their privacy is being impinged upon. For example, when facebook made a change that allowed for the exposure of a users relationship status a 700000 members petitioned. However, they will act positively when three key concerns are addressed- control, fair risk allocation and accountability.

When considering such an important decision as buying a house, privacy and the users trust is essential in order to create a successful web application. Be this through making sure information is correct and updated to giving the user control of their own information.

The use of simple to complete forms, such as sign up, would mean more reliable and trustworthy data. Furthermore, the use of if statements and messages would help reduce to amount of missing or incorrect data.

The use of sign up, login and sessions will help with the growing concern of privacy as a correct username and password will be needed in order to see and change account details. As well as sessions ending once the user has logged out.


Code showing login session

When researching into users trust in web apps I found colour is an important factor. Colours have psychological properties and can be said to relate to the body, mind and emotions. Not only is blue a commonly favoured by both men and women, but it is seen as trustworthy, dependable and committed. We are surrounded by the colour blue and it is seen to be a constant in our lives and therefore symbolises qualities such as confidence, loyalty and wisdom. When researching into existing property retail sites I found blue colour schemes to be very common. Blue and greys appear to be sleek and high tech, emphasising the users trust of the website. Websites such as rightmove and prime location have decided to use this colour in order to seem welcoming and reliable.


Prime Location’s home page


Home page of rightmove


Colour extracting rightmove’s home page

Therefore, we decided to go with a blue, grey and white colour scheme in order to make our web app come across crisp and professional, a website users will trust when deciding something as important as buying a house.