Did you know that words have a scent?
It’s true, and it’s an IxD principle that is very critical in designing effective user interface designs.
So lean over and sniff very carefully — can you smell those roses?
No, not that kind of scent. Scent is a word we UI Designers apply to navigation and other UI components that help a user “sniff – out” where she wants to go in a site. It’s extremely important to choose your navigation words carefully so that the scent is powerful and useful to your users!
Time for a bad example and a good example:
Bad Example: That little “hamburger” icon in many, many mobile apps. Why is it so bad? It has NO scent at all! Many users will not see it, will not touch it, and will leave the site rather than expand it to see what the hidden menu says.
I admit to using the hamburger icon in some mobile designs, and the majority of us have done so. I also commit to never using it again! If you review a design that has that little hamburger icon, tell your UX person and developers that you just won’t accept that kind of laziness, and demand they get a good solution for your mobile app design with lots of scent for your users. It will pay off in a huge way!