A human mind is an amazing pattern recognizing machine. We do a lot of things on autopilot, right from brushing our teeth or using keys to open the doors. These all have a sense of consistency and standards.
This saves us time and energy.
Imagine what would happen if each time you want to login into your email, the form fields are different or are placed differently?
With so much exposure and experience with the interfaces, our brain has created patterns and now we look at the specific things at specific places.
If you find a new interface intuitive, it is likely consistent with the standard UX pattern and practices.
It’s the fourth guideline of Nielsen’s Heuristics. Put in Nielsen’s words,
Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing. read this
Ways to ensure Consistency and standards –
While designing it is essential that the overall system should look unified, right from the fonts of the heading and body text to the colors used on the interface.
A brand guideline and design systems come handy in these instances. On moving from one screen to another, the user should not feel as if they have arrived at a new website.
With time there are few established patterns that users have come to associate with any interface. For example, the placement of the logo on a website is on the top left, the search bar is on the top right, the cart is on the top right.
There are certain icons which have conventional meaning. Like a star is used for a bookmark or for reviews, a plus sign indicates an increase while a minus sign indicated a decrease.
Nielsen Norman group conducted a study where the participants were asked to make a purchase on an e-commerce website and then come back to the home page.
They found out that On sites with left logos, users are significantly more likely to navigate home in a single click than on sites with centered logos. Coming back to the home page is crucial because it is the first thing users tend to do if they want to start over or they feel lost.
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Based on how their interaction goes with your app or website, the users expect certain processes to work in a consistent manner throughout.
Example, On WhatsApp, the floating action buttons remains at a fixed position and the only thing that changes is the icon that represents the action that is relevant to that screen.
The tone must be in coherence with the brand. MailChimp, for example, has a friendly and funny tone that is exuded in their communication.
Google’s mission and vision are again reflected everywhere from their website copy to the topics of their keynote presentations and product announcements.
- Google mission and vision
- Google’s presentation
- Google’s product announcement
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Every platform like Mac OS, Window OS, IoS, Android has laid out the guidelines for the UX design which are aimed to create a usable and consistent experience for the users.
We recommend you to study and implement them in detail. This will help you make sure the users of a different platform feel comfortable to use your product.
So, this was all about consistency. It is extremely crucial because users like to buy from brands they know and trust. If their experience is inconsistent, that result in the lack of trust and loyalty.
If you have a website, or if you are working on a UX project. We recommend you to revisit them with the lens of consistency and standards.