Top 10 UX Design Mistakes
UX, or User Experience Design, is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving usability, ease of use, and enjoyment provided in the interaction between the user and the product. Essentially, it’s main goal is to create a seamless, easily navigable website that is both innovative and simple to access. We’ve already touched upon The Benefits of Having a UX Developer on Staff before and this is essential to avoid making what are following Top 10 UX Design Mistakes:
It’s hard to resist the temptation to create an explosive webpage with unique buttons, layouts, and backgrounds. The danger here is that too much flash can leave a visitor overly confused on how to navigate a site. If it takes a while to figure out how to get to the vital information a user is seeking, it can be a disparaging experience. Effective sites blend creativity with simple moderation to keep visitors from being overwhelmed or unable to find what they’re looking for. After all, your website shouldn’t be simplistic to the point of being indiscernible from a tacky bathroom wallpaper.
2. Allowing Plugins, Widgets, Ads, and Other Add-Ons Clutter and Increase Load Time
The Achilles Heel of any good website is its loadtime. If the page is overdeveloped with unnecessary or flashy plugins and widgets, it can severely decrease its load time. If your visitors have flashbacks to the dial-up days of the Internet when visiting your site, that bad perception will either lose them immediately or make them question the efficiency of your product or content.
3. Not Being Prepared for Mobile or Desktop Viewing
In light of Google’s Mobilegeddon, websites are currently being penalized in search rankings for failing to have mobile-friendly sites available. It is not only important for a website to be available on both desktop and mobile platforms but it is also important to have a flowing theme to provide a seamless experience for users who visit both versions, increasing overall satisfaction and usability.
4. Asking for Too Much Visitor Information/Registration
Many times, registering an account with a website is a necessity due to eCommerce, creating personalized content, or subscribing to newsletters or message boards; however, there is a fine line between what many visitors will find an acceptable amount of information necessary to create such an account and a line that varies depending on the service. The Drum reports that “32 per cent of the 2000 consumers surveyed said if a website was asking for too much information they would fail to convert. Not trusting that the website is secure was the main reason for a quarter of shoppers.” Consider what is best for the site. Is registration a crucial component to your operations and if it is, what is the appropriate amount of information that is truly needed to administer to a user’s needs? If a user needs to register their name, address, email, credit card number, social security number, and blood-type to participate in a message board, you may want to rethink your approach.
5. Tiny Clickable Areas or Hard to Find Buttons
One of the biggest downfalls of improper UX design is making the links or buttons too small. Sure, it may make the page seem more streamlined but if the user is having trouble either finding the links or being able to click them, then it’s missing the mark. This becomes even more vital when applied to mobile sites, especially for users with smaller screens or fat fingers. If you need laser-guided precision to click a Next Page button, then you’re doing it wrong.
6. Having to Search for Search Feature
An easy to find Search feature enables your visitors to quickly access any specific subjects on your website without having to delve frustratingly through pages and pages of content. If this feature itself is so hard to find that they need a search feature to simply find the search feature, it can discourage users from visiting your site again in the future.
7. Too Much Pagination
Article pagination can be a useful tool to decrease load times – especially with media heavy content. Used with moderation, it can be an effective tool to streamline your content but many sites make the mistake of taking it to the extreme. Constant loading of page after page for a single article can be utterly annoying, especially on a mobile platform. Many list articles take this idea to outrageous lengths by dedicating a page to every list item in their story. A successful UX design is geared towards allowing the user to access their content in the fewest, simplest steps. If this article necessitated ten clicks for every item featured, the term “overkill” would be an understatement.
Many times this method is used under the assumption that it will increase page and ad views. What is overlooked in this scenario is that their content keywords are often diluted with this approach leading to weaker SEO.
8. Page That is Difficult to Scan
Much in the same light as over-designing and add-on clutter, a webpage should strive to develop a sleek yet creative layout. Let’s take a look at the above example again:
Not only is there too much going on (not to mention a virtual headache to look at) but the layout is all over the place. Glancing at the site, it’s not only hard to tell how to navigate it but it’s also difficult to discern what the site is actually about! Here are just a few issues that tie back to many of the above points:
– Over-designing of the menu to be hip. It may be possible to deduce what the home button is but what the heck is everything else?
– The ads take up prime real estate and give the rest of the page a dubious air. Users usually scan a site the same way they read a book – left to right. This is why most webpages relegate ads to the far right or bottom of the page.
– The buttons are too small or unclickable.
– In an effort to be “creative,” the main content of the site (the picture links in the middle) is not only jumbled and uninformative, but it is easy to miss that it is indeed the main section of the site.
9. No Development Site for Design Roll-Outs
Much like taking a test drive on a potential new car, websites should have methods of testing their designs before being rolled out on the general public. When a page is being developed, it is easy for the designers to overlook flaws or navigational weaknesses in part due to their over-familiarity with the project. They know it so well that they no longer need to connect the dots that are already apparent to them – connections that the average user may not see. At Netsville, for example, we create a development site for our projects with the sole purpose of testing out new roll-outs, plugins, and interfaces so that we can not only see what works and what doesn’t but also as viable tool to get feedback before the changes are applied to the main site.
10. Mistaking UI for UX
Despite having similar abbreviations and ideologies, UI and UX are very different although they are very often mistaken for one another. While UX, as stated before, deals specifically with a User’s Experience with a particular product or web design, UI focuses on the User Interface Design, or how all the different components are created and put together to get a working, finished product. In essence, UI leads to UX by designing the product that users will eventually experience. The following graphic by Techtic breaks it down quite simply:
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