5 UX Mistakes And How To Avoid Them
December 15, 2019
When you’re looking at a site on your mobile device have you found it difficult to read the text, or perhaps you thought it would be great if there was an ‘open in maps’ button on the site rather than memorizing the address and opening the native map app and punching in the address manually? Have you ever been browsing a site and were unclear as to what a particular button would do if you clicked it? Or, have you ever perused a website and literally did not know what to do next?
If you answered “yep!” to any of those simple, but sometimes unconscionable faux pas, then you have experienced a UX mistake. Though small, these mistakes ultimately accumulate into an unpleasant experience, which can end up driving the user away from your website.
UX, What’s That?
If you’re here reading this post, you have probably heard of the acronym UX and know that it stands for User Experience. Over the past several years, the interest in user experience has been steadily on the rise.
The dictionary defines user experience as the overall experience of a person using a product such as a website or a computer application, especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use.
“Are you not entertained?!” –Maximus, Gladiator
Nowadays, websites must provide much more than just entertainment, they are an extension of your business, often times the first impression that a potential customer will see. So avoiding these 5 mistakes will help retention rate on your web presence that will ultimately result in higher call volumes or sales.
On The Go!
- 1. Non-mobile friendly. This is number one on the list for a very specific reason. At the end of 2016, for the first time in the history of the Internet, mobile web browsing surpassed desktop browsing and that number continues to climb. The number one user experience mistake that businesses make is not making sure that their websites are mobile responsive.
- What does mobile responsive mean? That simply means that your web site will adjust to various sizes depending on which device your site is being viewed. As mentioned in the opening of this blog post, that includes immersive experience items such as a button to automatically map your business within the native map application of the device. Or adding a ‘click to call’ button to your mobile responsive site so a user doesn’t have to manually type your phone number in to call you. All too often, businesses overlook optimizing their websites for mobile devices and this is a major frustration for users. With as on-the-go as our society has become, consumers don’t have time to pinch and zoom into a site that hasn’t been optimized for phones to find company details. If your site is not optimized for mobile devices, you’re losing business, plain and simple.
Everybody Hates Reading
- 2. Too much text. This is another major no-no in the user experience category. Unless you’re writing a novel for your Kindle, you need to get to the point with your copy on your website. If you do have a lot of copy, one key thing to remember is to break up your copy into manageable chunks by using subheadings to summarize and divide up the text. Since most people are on-the-go and looking for information quickly, you’ll want to optimize your copy to make it easy for the reader to scan and find key information about your business.
Keep It Simple
- 3. Complexity is your enemy. One way to quickly frustrate your users is by making your website complex. And by complex, I mean too much text, bloated with too many features or a site that is not optimized properly causing images to load slowly. Many business owners feel like they need to overload their business websites with every single detail of their company, the services they offer or specials they have. What users truly want to see is the business’s core offering. Focus on the 1 or 2 main elements that make/has made your business successful.
- 4. The Norman door of UX. Have you ever walked up to a building that has a door with a handle on both sides and you push on the door when you should have pulled? That is known as a Norman door. Named after Don Norman, a Norman door is a poorly designed door that fails to give you a visual indication as to whether you should push the door or pull the door to open it. This happens very often on websites. A user is presented with a button that simply says “click here” with no indication as to what’s ‘behind door #1’. Or the owner of the company has a son or daughter that makes “really neat icons” so the owner thought it would be cool to use an obscure icon to represent the ‘contact us’ button when a simple envelope or phone icon would do. There are standard, subliminal icons that users have been conditioned to look for on websites and when a website strays from those ‘normals’, users get frustrated easily.
- 5. Untested. Feedback is key to your website. To build a great experience for your consumers and customers, you must conduct usability testing to help weed out where users get tripped up and frustrated with your website. Two major points to look for when conducting usability testing:
- Mission Accomplished: Watch to see if a user can complete desired tasks on your website that you’ve set as goals.
- Navigation: How many clicks does it take for a user to reach point A to point B. There is a rule in user experience called the 3-click rule that states: if anything takes more than three clicks, it’s considered a bad user experience.
There are many more nuances with user experience that I could delve into in this post, but these are 5 of the main pain points that I see when I talk with my clients and business prospects.
A few other key takeaways from this discussion around user experience for your business website to consider are:
- Identify points of resistance
- Reduce distractions
- Add clarity
- Improve relevancy
- Make the experience more intuitive
Mike Sofka is an illustrator in Nashville, TN. He has worked as an illustrator and graphic designer for the Walt Disney Company, Crayola, the Los Angeles Kings, Veggietales, The Home Depot, and many other wonderful companies. If you are in need of a graphic designer or illustrator, he would love to speak with you!