The Web Is Different Than Traditional Media

Websites are vastly different than printed material. From animations, hover effects, and dynamic content to movable drag-and-drop content, user-defined data, and on-the-fly database-driven updates, website bring a paradigm of true interaction to your customers that printed material simply cannot touch. Along with this interactivity, though, comes several challenges. What if those interactions are confusing? What happens when the way the interaction is designed doesn’t line up with the outcome that your users expect? How do you prevent your users from becoming “lost” in your website? What if you have users who are colorblind? How can you design interactions so they are intuitive for your users? Which best practices are appropriate for your website?

These questions, and many others, are critical to consider when designing and developing a website, Web Application, Mobile App, or any other interface that requires human-computer interaction. Many business owners, designers, and developers make numerous assumptions about these kinds of questions based largely on their own experience. Unfortunately, this often leads to designs and interactions that are either less than optimal, at best, or even downright unusable, at worst. And every time a visitor to your website has a poor experience because of sub-optimal interaction design, that user gets increasingly confused, frustrated, and displeased. These negative feelings build a negative view of your company in this user’s mind, tarnishing your brand or product(s), and eventually leading that user – and probably many others – to abandon your website and go to your competitors’ sites instead.

The Role of Engineering Psychology

Engineering Psychologists help to alleviate these problems. By applying research-based techniques and best practices, we work to improve the ease of use of your Web experience. Your customers will appreciate the investment that you have made into the quality of their experience. Your site or App will be more enjoyable to them, which will enhance their impression of your brand, your products, and their view of your commitment to them.

An Engineering Psychologist is an invaluable asset to Web design/development teams. The more complex the system, the more valuable this asset becomes to the success of the website, Web Application, Kiosk, or Mobile App project. An Engineering Psychologist brings to bear a wealth of understanding of human cognition (how we think), sensory system physiology (e.g., motor skills, visual and auditory capabilities, etc.), information organization, and other disciplines on various systems that involve human-computer interaction.

At Edge Webware, we take this discipline seriously, always engaging our in-house Engineering Psychologist on all of our projects. Though we offer premium Usability services to our clients, all of our clients benefit from the expertise that we have in this field.

To see how you can benefit from a Usability Review, Usability Testing, or a complete redesign/redevelopment that includes those services, Email Us Today!

To learn more about Engineering Psychology, refer to the graphic below, and read our article, Web Usability: Human Factors or Engineering Psychology.

Figure 1: Web development is more within the realm of Engineering Psychology than Human Factors, as is illustrated in this graphic.
Figure 1: Web development is more within the realm of Engineering Psychology than Human Factors, as is illustrated in this graphic. Adapted from Wickens, C., Gordon, S., & Liu, Y. (1998). An Introduction to Human Factors Engineering. New York: Longman.