It’s almost Halloween, so here’s a horror story.
Once there was a brand that wanted to expand their business online. They had a web design company to improve their website and a social media marketing company Philippines for their marketing plans and services. Everything was fine until they discovered that their UX design was full of mistakes. Their customers turned away from their website although their marketing efforts were on point. Eventually, they had to outsource another web designer who could fix those mistakes and bring back the customers they lost because of low-quality, poorly designed site.
The lesson? Your web designer must be aware of the UX mistakes to avoid. If he or she doesn’t factor in user experience, there’s a huge chance that your website can lead to poor performance. Worse, it can lead to a loss of revenue. As a web design company or a freelance designer, you don’t want that for your client. Thus, you must be aware of the things you should and shouldn’t do when coming up with an effective design. Without further ado, here are the 13 UX mistakes you should know before taking a project.
1. Failure to empathize with the user
Most UX designers focus on delivering the best results for their clients that they forget the real target – the users. As a designer, your goal must be to make things easy for the customer. Your design must speak the user’s language and solve their problem. It must ease their workload instead of allowing them to pile up.
It might require you to put it more thought on your work, but it will be worth it. You can become more user-centric by adding incorporating interactive features to the site. The mobile site, for instance, is better off with a tap to call button than listing phone numbers. Users also appreciate clear instructions and fewer clicks when navigating an e-commerce website.
2. Losing sight of your vision
When there are several options available, the user might lose sight of their goal. Often, it happens when the site design has a lot of things on the page. The user gets trapped in the paradox of choice and gets overwhelmed with several options available. Some users end up with a decision after a while, but most of the time, they abandon your site to look for something better.
A design that offers too many choices is a mess. It shows that you lack a goal. As a designer, it’s your job to lead customers towards what you want them to do. If a business or brand offers several items and choices, you should ensure they are easy to locate. Point the customers towards those that provide the best value instead of making them hunt for it.
3. Disregarding or not using available data
UX design is not always about the aesthetics. You must also use data from analytics to find out which features contribute to the success of your website. You should check analytics programs to see which CTAs and forms are the most prominent with users. It also helps you identify which pages are a hit with users and which ones are flunking.
Knowing these helps you identify which parts of your website need your attention. It also pushes you to come up with solutions on how to improve the user’s experience.
4. Integrating pop-ups
No one likes to get interrupted by a pop-up. It’s annoying to have a box filling the screen while you’re in the middle of reading a fascinating article or watching a video. Pop-ups are most intrusive on a mobile site. If you want to satisfy your users, you must find a way to include them without blocking the user’s view of the screen.
Another way to place a pop-up is by delaying the time it appears on the screen. It shouldn’t surprise the user and make them stuck on a page. Instead, it must allow users to look after what they need or click on the stuff before it shows up.
5. Forgetting a responsive web design
The number of mobile users increases annually. You can verify this once you look into your website’s analytics. You might find that most of your site’s visitors are mobile users. You shouldn’t ignore this if you want your website to rank in search engines and wish more people would engage with your website. The key to this is creating a responsive design. Responsive web design allows users to browse your site on different devices freely.
6. Large headers and graphics
It’s important to have the right size of logos, headers, and other graphics. If they are too large, you risk burying important content. It can also distract users. Most of all, it can dampen their viewing experience as the artwork is too big for the screen. To find the right size, the website’s important elements must fit above the fold. It’s the first thing people see when they visit the site. When everything looks balanced, and they fit together nicely, then you have a cohesive design that users will appreciate.
7. Not testing the design
Forgetting to A/B test is a way to identify the issues of your design. You could avoid a lot of mistakes if you took the time to survey the graphics, content, CTAs, forms, and other elements you have on the website. When testing, you should introduce the variables one by one to find out which are the ones that need changes and those that you should retain.
8. Being inconsistent
Part of a successful UX design is updating old trends and incorporating new ones to improve your services. However, changing your concept and design frequently can frustrate your users. If you plan on developing parts of your website, you should be consistent with your key features. It gives a sense of stability and maintains the characteristics that people identify with your brand.
9. Lacking contrast
Besides your cohesive design, contrast is your ally in making your content pop. Users must be able to read the material on the website to understand the information on it. The right color combination and overall display of the site is a must for a balanced contrast. Fortunately, spotting the right color and font combination is easy to fix. You ask your peers and the client which ones are easiest to read then incorporate them to your design.
10. Copying other’s design
It can be challenging to work on a web design when there’s no inspiration. When you do chance upon a one-of-a-kind design work, your job becomes easy. You won’t have to look for a guide when it’s in front of you. But, it doesn’t mean you have to recreate the whole concept. You can use bits and pieces in your work, but you shouldn’t copy the entire thing. It’s tacky and unprofessional.
11. Poor information architecture (IA)
Some websites lack structure. Thus, users waste most of their time searching in different pages for the things they need. Others don’t have a search bar, have inconsistent title bars, and don’t follow a consistent stream that allows users to limit their choices.
As a designer, you should also design the flow of information on the website. It will help you build your site around the content and not the other way around. When IA is part of your design, you learn to group and label the content while thinking about how to set up the website’s navigation.
12. Long and sluggish forms
It’s necessary for your business to collect data from customers. But, the process of data collection shouldn’t hold people from the stuff they want to buy, download, or subscribe. It’s best to customize the forms you have and pattern them according to specific purposes. For instance, you should take off some fields that have no use such as address and zip code if you aren’t mailing or shipping anything.
As much as possible, you should keep your forms short and easy to fill out. The steps to completing the form must also be concise and direct. That way, users won’t abandon your site or become confused about what to do once they submit their name and email.
13. The absence of CTA buttons
A beautiful webpage that doesn’t point toward a specific action is just…beautiful. It has no value as it doesn’t tell users what they should do next. Should they scroll? What would happen if the click a button? Will there be more content on the next page?
More questions arise when you forget to include a CTA button. The button would connect your pages towards the actions you want users to accomplish. Hence your design should encourage users and not make them bored enough to abandon the website.
Fix Your Mistakes to Avoid Incurring Costs
Some UX design mistakes might be simple and easy to fix, but you still shouldn’t commit them. As much as possible, you should avoid them. That way, you won’t have to suffer a loss of income… and humiliation. Work on your design skills to have the best concepts for your client and help your web design company become a success.