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› Popular sites put UX first
  • Published on April 17, 2014

Some of the Internet's most popular sites recently underwent significant design overhauls that simplify the user experience.

Spotify alters its color scheme, navigation and typography
The most immediately noticeable change to the popular music-streaming website's layout are the new colors. Dropping its former green and grey palette, the company opted for a sleeker design. The background is now entirely black, while selections have a dark grey filter. Additionally, navigation has become much easier through the use of visual interface elements. Songs, albums and buttons are now represented by large square boxes, a layout that closely resembles the tiles found in Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

On the company's website, Spotify explains that the redesign is meant to make the user experience much simpler, allowing visitors to more easily sift through their music selections and classify their favorite pieces. The darker selection is meant to make the content easier to read and more visually appealing, "just like in a cinema when you dim the lights."

Twitter becomes more image focused
Much like the Facebook timeline, Twitter users are now greeted with a large background photo along with a smaller profile picture in the top left corner of the page. The text underneath still lists tweets, but on the left side, users can see their pictures, followers and suggested contacts. Additionally, image uploading has become much easier, as Twitter users can tag up to 10 other people with accounts in their photographs. Popular tweets are now larger than others, while those that have been favorited are also prominently displayed on a user's profile. These changes put the user experience at the forefront of the site design, taking into consideration the tasks that users perform most frequently, and the information they are generally wanting to obtain.

Facebook alters the shape of advertisements
Facebook users are accustomed to the ever-changing layout of the popular social network, as they roll-out iterative UX design changes. The most recent alteration has been received well by visitors. Instead of several smaller advertisements displayed on the right-hand side of a profile, users will only see one large, colorful image that has been tailored to their tastes. According to the site, people were three times more likely to click on the new ads as opposed to the older ones. If you're involved with online marketing, you can appreciate the value a strong UX can bring to your business when you see numbers such as this.

Upgrading websites to better serve visitors is one of the best ways for companies to improve user experience. Whether people access the site through a desktop or mobile device, the way they interact with it greatly affects the way they perceive a brand. American Graphics Institute offers UX training to help you maximize the effectiveness of your website through its design.

About the author

 is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices.

Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern Windows UX Design, having worked closely with the Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Blend for Visual Studio, and Balsamiq.