Five common UX design mistakes to avoid

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User experience design is based on a foundation of creating useful, accessible and engaging designs centered on user needs. At Integrity, our project process revolves around our client’s users. We’ve written about how we integrate user-centered design into our projects; to learn more about our user experience design processes, read UX design – more than just graphic design.

These articles discuss the basics and importance of good user experience, but one of the best ways to learn something new is to look at what you should not do. So, here are some of the most common UX mistakes we see.

1. Lack of direction

Many websites lack direction and fail to communicate a clear message. If a site doesn’t have a clear message or action for users to take, you risk losing them. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if your site has too many messages and no clear direction, your users may feel overwhelmed and be unable to break through the clutter.

First impressions matter, so it’s important to get started on the right foot to capture your user’s attention and create a positive connection that will keep them coming back to your site. Set the stage with a clear benefit statement to turn website users into interested customers. Choose a message that is simple, to-the-point and will set you apart from the competition.

2. Launching too soon

We’ve all visited a site that felt a little unpolished – or maybe a lot unpolished – and left feeling frustrated and confused. These feelings lead to distrust of not only your site, but your business as a whole. When users leave your site with a bad first impression, they may not come back. All as a result of a bad user experience and failed quality assurance testing.

To ensure your site provides the quality experience your users expect, it’s important to thoroughly test your site’s user flows and functionality. Since each site has a unique group of users, testing should be customized for your audience and their needs. And, don’t forget cross-browser and mobile testing, which ensure users on a variety of devices have a quality user experience. To read more about our dedication to quality assurance testing, read TITLE.

3. Putting the user second

Even the most beautiful site can have a bad user experience if it’s designed for the wrong user or no user at all. To reach your target market, make sure you’re designing an experience that fits the needs of your user and helps them accomplish their goals.

To ensure your site is telling the right story, it’s key to identify both your brand’s personality and the messages that will speak to your user. To ensure we’re designing with users in mind, we use these tools:

  • Defined user personas to identify the target market
  • Consumer journey maps, to outline their needs and goals (read more about consumer journey maps)
  • Detailed wireframes, to define the site’s user flows
  • A/B testing, to test those user flows to ensure they meet user expectations

4. Technology as a barrier

There’s a fine line between adding elegant details and overdoing it. Adding cool features can make your site stand out, but unnecessary bells and whistles can make a site difficult to use. Fancy animations and scrolling can look neat, but may slow your site down, make it hard to navigate and create issues across browsers and devices.

Creating a simple experience may take a little more effort, but it’s worth the time to create a site that doesn’t need to be redesigned when trends change. We like to focus on subtle details that create elegance and charm without distracting users from the purpose of the site.

5. Forms from hell

This seems like a really small piece of the site, but it’s one of the most important aspects. Often, forms are the main point of conversion, whether they’re used for shopping cart checkout, collecting leads or newsletter signups. If users have trouble filling out your form, they’ll likely leave, which cuts into your site’s ability to complete conversions.

Creating simple, easy-to-use forms isn’t rocket science, but it does require some planning and thought. When creating website forms, we follow these usability standards:

  • Label fields and provide brief instructions to avoid confusion
  • Avoid inline labels which disappear when users click into the field
  • Organize fields into clear groups, especially for long forms
  • Ask only for necessary information to minimize the number of fields users need to complete
  • Add field validation to ensure users are entering the right type of information (for example numbers in a phone number field)

While there’s a lot more to creating a good user experience, if you can learn from (and avoid!) these five UX design downfalls, you can be well on your way to creating a site your users love.
Does your site have any of these user experience no-nos? Our team will help you get back on track. Contact us.

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