Web design: combining creativity and conventions at the service of the user

By Isabelle Grégoire, President

Feedback from our users is invaluable. This is what allows us to better understand their expectations and to prioritize our efforts to always do better. From the very beginning of Classo, we have sought to know the impressions of those who use the platform. We have received many constructive comments. We want to know what needs to be improved, of course, but also what is appreciated.

Whether during the pilot projects carried out last year or more recently, here are some examples of responses we have received to the question "What did you enjoy the most about your experience with the Classo platform?" "

“The fact that resources are in one place. "
“Short descriptions of the different applications. "
“The fact that these are resources selected by teachers and stakeholders in the school environment. "

Then also:
“The sleek design. It's easy to navigate. "
“The aesthetics of the site. "

I attach particular importance to design and user experience. Out of artistic sensitivity, a little, but above all because these two elements are key to the adoption of the platform. They are also elements of differentiation. Web design has evolved. It has adopted new codes and conventions. For example, as a rule, the logos are positioned at the top left. The main navigation is at the top of the site, the social media icons at the bottom of the page.

I feel sorry when I discover, all too often, websites that, for all sorts of reasons, do not offer an ergonomics and user experience worthy of recent practices in web design. Pages where there are long lists of hyperlinks, few images, where the information is condensed, navigation complicated. Many sites are also not designed in reactive design, that is to say that adapts to the size of the screen used. While already in 2017, the data collected by We Are Social and Hootsuite and presented by Kabane indicated that 73% of the Canadian population used a smartphone, it is now imperative that the websites are in responsive design. "Mobile First! Some even say.

With Classo, we wanted and still aspire to apply a design to the service of the user. Simple. Sleek. We use icons that are easy to understand, like the heart for the choice of favorite resources, which has become practically a convention. And since a web platform or online application is never frozen, we will have to constantly improve it and make sure that neither the design nor the technology used becomes obsolete.

I asked Alyona, the web designer who worked with us, what was her approach. His concerns are very close to mine! Here is what she explained to me:

“We naturally each have our own thought patterns. Thus, different users of the same website or the same application will adopt different behaviors, based on repetitive actions and on their knowledge. These intuitive behaviors allow us to react quickly and apply the same knowledge in similar or familiar situations, but they can also prevent us from seeing or developing new ways of seeing, understanding and solving problems. When I imagined the Classo dashboard, I first wanted it to be user-friendly and simple to use. To do this, I had to clearly define the information to be represented, then find a way to guide the user's perception, taking into account intuitive behavior. By using visually light blocks and graphic objects, I wanted to create an interface that was simple to understand by the user while presenting a complete and global vision. »

Green Classo

I couldn't write about design without mentioning Classo colors. My 12 year old son, just as interested in science as in drawing, asked me why the Classo logo was green. “It's not just any green. Have you noticed I replied. After giving him my explanation, he said to me, "You have to write that down somewhere!" So here it is.

Indeed, it is no coincidence that the Classo logo is green. Dark green. Green table. Like the one in each class when I was still in school. This green chalkboard from my school time has now become the whiteboard. Here is the inspiration behind this choice of colors. With members of the team, we had discussions around this choice! Is it too green "Desjardins"? ", Too" something else "? For me, the green of the logo evokes the good old chalk board. Just a touch of this green on the white background of the platform. White whiteboard. The dark green of the logo and the white, together evoke for me the teacher's tool, the blackboard, where learning is written and displayed.

Finally, in design as in teaching, the choices and approaches should always be motivated by intentions!

Do you have any comments or suggestions?
Write us. We are always happy to read you.

To find out more:

Web Design Standards: 10 Best Practices on the Top 50 Websites


The 16 Website Design Best Practices For Conversions in 2018


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