Understanding Cookies and Its Impact on User Experience & Web Design
There are many things that go into the design of a website. In the most general sense, a website can be seen as a combination of code and content: the code displays content for various users to interact with. However, there is so much more to web design than that.
From the purpose of the site to the design of the interface for each individual page, as well as how it’s navigated via a site map, there are many design choices that need to be made. Great web design allows any user to easily get from point A to B and achieve a desired task in the easiest way possible.
User experience is an integral part of having a successful design since it’s all about making things easier for the user. User experience design is aptly named since it refers to improving the experience of – well, you guessed it – the user!
Improving a user’s experience can be achieved in a myriad of ways, but this week’s article will focus on cookies. No, not a fresh batch of golden-brown cookies with gooey chocolate chips oozing from the cookies themselves; web cookies!
Cookies have a fairly big impact on web design and the user experience, which is to be expected – cookies can benefit the user which is essentially the basis of succeeding in UX design!
Web cookies are snippets of data that are stored in a user’s web browser when they visit a page. These snippets of data log information about the user. However, the type of information logged by web cookies aren’t necessarily personal, though some cookies do bring about privacy concerns amongst the general public.
There are many types of web cookies. These include session cookies and persistent cookies – to name a few.
Session cookies are incredibly helpful for e-commerce websites. Session cookies are temporary, as they only last a single session that a user surfs on a browser. Session cookies are automatically deleted once the browser closes and the session has ended.
However, they’re stored within a user’s browser and tracks what pages a user visits in a site, as well as certain pieces of information. The reason why they’re so helpful for e-commerce sites is that they keep items stored in a virtual shopping cart when a user navigates from page to page!
A persistent cookie is the exact opposite of a session cookie. While session cookies are temporary, persistent cookies remain on a user’s computer even after a session has ended and the browser has been closed.
Persistent cookies save user preferences on a website – be it passwords, usernames, and other auto-fill information. They also track behaviour between different sessions, allowing the site to tailor specific ads and display them to the user.
Cookies are incredibly vital to user experience and web design as it helps provide a better experience for all users. Saving important information such as items in a virtual shopping cart and various autofill information that users might be too lazy to input each time they visit the site – all help improve the UX of a site.