Website design relies heavily on how users interact with the technology. In this post, I will be diving into a website analysis that ties both User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) to how to thoughtfully create a site that people want to visit. Humans allow their emotions to dictate a lot of their decision making so, a simple way to connect the website’s design with the emotions of the user is using the sentence format “I FEEL ______ because my need for __________ is/is not being met”.

As an avid online shopper, I spend a lot of time scrolling through countless sites. In the new normal, I rely heavily on a brand’s internet reputation to decide where I want to shop. Two of my frequented searches, Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle, highlight some strong UX and UI design, and some not-so-strong design.

Abercrombie & Fitch is one of my all-time favorite comeback stories. When I was younger, my mom often veered me away from their risqué reputation. Since then, they’ve rebranded into a refreshing, 20-something brand that has simple and sophisticated pieces. Not to mention, I love visiting Abercrombie.com. Their website landing page makes me FEEL INSPIRED and WARM because my NEEDS for BEAUTY and INCLUSION are being met. The color scheme of the site is very neutral. They often include the Men’s and Women’s options for certain categories and also their campaign for the time-being. In the book, 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People, by Susan M. Weinschenk, she discusses the topic of scrolling. It is shown that users will scroll if you provide great content, but it’s always best to put all important information “above the fold”. A&F does this well, usually highlighting a certain campaign to draw people in as soon as you enter the landing page. This website analysis was conducted during Black History Month and A&F is celebrating by releasing a unisex collection supporting the cause.

As I navigate the site, I am confident that I am going to find what I need. A&F’s top menu bar makes me FEEL INTRIGUED and OPEN because my NEEDS for CHOICE and EASE are being met because of the clear and simple choices. When you enter the site, you are greeted with clear options such as “Men’s, Women’s, Kids, Jeans, Sale and About Us”. Users do not want to be faced with too many choices because they may become frustrated and leave the site. A&F gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t want, allowing you to find what you need without getting lost.

American Eagle is a brand I’ve turned to because of it’s inclusive sizing and “real” ad campaigns. A brand that’s reputation lies with body positivity has a bright and cheery website that proves to be a tad unorganized and overwhelming.

American Eagle’s landing page makes me FEEL ENERGETIC and JOYFUL because my NEEDS for CREATIVITY and BEAUTY are being met. It features pictures and animations of young adults outside enjoying themselves There is nature and colors everywhere. It makes me feel energetic and ready to feel how they are feeling. Because user’s lead their decision making based on how a product makes them FEEL, many brands try to evoke emotions out of their users grab their attention.

Once entering the site, AE seems to overwhelm the user with choices. American Eagle’s website makes me FEEL OVERWHELMED, ANXIOUS and TORN because my NEEDS for CLARITY and UNDERSTANDING are not being met. When you select a category from the top menu of the page, I am presented with a huge amount of categories. I have no idea where I want to start because most of the time, I come to browse the website. This turns me away from the site because I do not want to read through all of the choices. Users do not like being presented with too many options. More times than not, they will give up and leave the site.

You want users to feel good about your site and how your website makes your users feel is heavily based on elements of UX and UI. A website that is designed well will be both easy for the user to navigate and aesthetically pleasing.

Weinschenk, Susan M. 100 More Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People. New Riders, 2016.

Goyal, Megha. “Combining UX Design and Psychology to Change User Behaviour.” Medium, UX Collective, 8 July 2019, uxdesign.cc/combining-ux-design-and-psychology-to-change-user-behaviour-39d27730434a.

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