Prioritizing User Experience: Best Practices in Multimedia Design

Multimedia can be a great way to get your audience’s attention, whether you are incorporating it into a website, an app, an information kiosk or some other product, but only if it offers a good user experience. User who get bogged down with slow-loading multimedia that returns little value are likely to get frustrated and move on. Improving the user experience can be costly, so it’s important to free up expenses each month. By reducing credit card debt, refinancing student loans to a more favorable interest rate, while sticking to a budget, can place your business on the right track for success going forward.

Test Usability Early and Often

Testing should not happen at the end of the design process but throughout it. It’s much easier to correct course early on. Choosing the right testers is important as well. Ideally, these are the same who would be the audience for the product or service. For example, if the app or site is about refinancing student loans, people who are actually interested in this product should be recruited as testers. This can tell you whether they prefer to watch a short video or animation about their options or read a transcript, for example. It can also help ensure that any tools to help them calculate savings from refinancing loans are easy to use.

Prioritize Clarity

One of the reasons you need those testers is that they keep your feet on the ground. It can be easy to get so caught up in what you can do and how attractive it looks that you lose sight of your purpose. Conveying the key idea or making it clear what the user must do to access the product or service offered has to take precedence over all the bells and whistles you want to include.

Style Matters

Prioritizing clarity doesn’t mean that the look of the final product does not matter. In fact, style and usability should be intertwined. There’s a reason many people who go into multimedia design have a background in graphic design. It’s because they value designing something that is beautiful as well as functional. The style will not only become part of your brand but should be integrated into the overall purpose.

Storytelling

Storytelling remains a cornerstone of content creation, and multimedia can be a powerful tool in doing this. The combination of storytelling and multimedia can create a strong emotional reaction in the user. However, if the information conveyed is not critical, there should be a way for the user to bypass it. If it is used to impart information, it should be done in a way that streamlines and simplifies it. Any infographics should be easy to read. Videos should be short; no one wants to click on a 10-minute video to learn how to use a product. More complex information can be broken down and delivered across several different formats, or users could be given the option to keep going in if they want a deeper dive.

Think About Devices and Platforms

Responsive web design may be second nature these days, but there are other things to be considered to ensure the best user experience whatever device they use and across multiple platforms. Depending on the intended audience, it may also be important to avoid assuming unlimited bandwidth. You may want to rethink autoplay videos and similar data gobblers.

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