Is it correct to say "for optimal user experience" when referring to how web interface has to be designed? I just need to explain why I chose specific colour scheme.

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    "Optimal user experience", while correct if a bit jargony, is very vague, especially when referring to a colour scheme. You should specify what makes your choice optimal.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 9:47
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    You can say that, but be prepared to answer the question, "What's ‘optimal,’ and how do we measure it?" when someone is reviewing the document.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 9:48
  • I agree with the previous comments and would add that colour schemes can be very personal choices - particularly for people with sight problems - so that what is optimal for one person may be very 'difficult' or harsh for another person. I wouldn't use the word 'optimal' in that context.
    – TrevorD
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 10:39
  • The phrase is grammatical. It also makes sense in the context. It is common in the technical writing field. What made you suspect it could be wrong? The meaning or meaning-in-context of the word optimal? Or is it something else? Please elaborate so that an appropriate answer can be given.
    – Kris
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 11:59
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    @Kris Yes, I should have commented "You should specify what the optimal user experience is and how your choice satisfies it." A colour-blind-helpful colour scheme may be optimal, but in that case it's not sufficient to say "I chose these colours for optimal user experience," you need to say "I chose these colours because they are suitable for colour-blind users [and will therefore give an optimal user experience]."
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 12:05

2 Answers 2


The word optimal is very vague in this context. As a web designer, I would say things along the line of efficiency (the page loads faster), user-friendly (takes seconds for the user to get used to and use), and intuitive (follows the convention of many other websites that the user may use).

In the case of this colour scheme, mention that it isn't too hard to look at. A bright yellow background would be hard to stare at. Note the colour scheme of this very webpage. The formatting is elegant and boxes jump out at you, but only to welcome you. Not to blind you. If your background is green, you can also say that the green is synonymous to money to give the user a rich feeling and experience. Maybe efficiency isn't the key element here, but user-friendly and intuitive are things you can mention that the user will appreciate.

Edit: Wordings such as pleasing to the eye and not jarring can be used to justify your choice of colour scheme. Courtesy of J.R.

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    As I pondered this question, I thought of wordings such as pleasing to the eye and not jarring.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 15:58
  • Good call, I have added your comment to the answer. :)
    – tf.rz
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 16:09

@AndrewLeach and @J.R. gave a couple of good pointers, but let me steer the ship a bit further and expand or possibly go in a slightly different direction with what they mentioned.

Optimal means the best choice using certain criteria under certain conditions. Some criteria may or may not be directly quantitative, but can be qualitative/subjective preferably if the criteria originates from a trusted and accepted source for guidance. Hence, if you were to suggest that...

because of a 1984 APA Study on dominate colors and user response, and Web Standard Guideline 43.YY.Z, brown backgrounds should be used for optimal user experience

... we could not only take your word, but further, we could review, verify (make sure what you claimed was actually stated), and validate (affirm or agree with) the conclusion of the guidance.

To clarify, a "trusted and accepted source" leaves a lot of leeway in practice as to what qualifies as acceptable and what does not. What constitutes a "trusted and accepted source"? It is up to the readership to determine if the standard is acceptable. For all intents and purposes, you could claim...

In accordance with the expert opinion of our staff, brown backgrounds should never be used for optimal user experience because they remind us of fall and the impending winter.

This takes the form of expert-opinion or testimony.

In your particular case, there was certainly a reason why you feel the choices made were optimal, so you simply need to substantiate them with the method or criteria used to make that determination.

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