Steve Martin

Designer, Thinker, Student of Human Behavior

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Great UX Design = Surprise Them!

Providing your website visitors with a wonderful experience is way more than great usability, proper information architecture, or just beautiful design. The best thing you can do on a website is to make users smile. That's good UX design. One great way to do that is to surprise users from time to time. NO - not the "Oh, what a surprise, the navigation's moved to the other side of the screen" type of surprise, I mean little things thrown in there that not even everyone will notice, but everyone who does will love. Case in point: www.silverbackapp.com - go there and slowly resize your browser window & see what happens to the vines hanging down. Go ahead - I'll wait…

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Good - you're back. Admit it - you smiled, didn't you! That's what I'm talking about. It doesn't change or add to the functionality of the site at all, but it DEFINITELY adds loads to the users' experience, and a happy user is MUCH more willing to pull out their wallet, no?  The man who designed that site, Paul Annett, has been playing around with other fun CSS trickery - check out his cool "channel 4" logo. It's another great example of how something small can be big in UX. (by the way, he's now available for freelance work)