Sick of users being disengaged with your website or app? It’s time you took a look at your UX (User Experience) design…
UX design is responsible for delivering a certain experience to the user that will increase the level of satisfaction from using a website or software product. A good UX is appealing, engaging, and takes the user on a frictionless journey, from landing on the page to completing the needed conversion.
There is much more to UX design than creating a few compelling buttons and a fancy layout. A UX designer has to consider the possible user journey and overall, make the work user-centric in order to lead the user through the website (or an app) and make them interact with the intended touchpoints.
Many designers don’t think about the users and focus on their own sense of beauty instead. Below, I’ve collected the top 5 UX mistakes many designers make which results in lost conversions and unhappy users.
Mistake #1: Forgetting about the user’s mental model
A mental model is a model in the user’s mind that corresponds to the user’s expectations about the product. It’s basically the user’s expectations based on previous experience, user’s needs, similar products, etc. So if a user tests a product and it doesn’t match their mental model, there will be a problem.
The thing is, many designers focus on their own conceptual model aka the way they see a product, ignoring the possible user’s needs. As a result, there is a mismatch between the two models. While it is not always bad, sometimes, the mismatch is so drastic that it leaves the user completely disappointed in the product.
What every UX designer should do is consider both models when working on the design. The design should be appealing and clear – but, at the same time, it should not appeal only to the designer’s taste. By keeping the design user-centric, a designer can cater to the real needs of the product users.
Mistake #2: Irrelevant content that messes with navigation
Call-to-action (CTA) elements, such as buttons, are important because they motivate users to take the intended action and lead them towards a conversion. But sometimes, CTAs are ineffective because they completely mess up the navigation and prevent the users from the actual website/app navigation.
How many times have you come across a website that immediately closes the screen with a page-size pop-up that demands you to sign up for a newsletter or request a free demo? The worst part of such pop-ups – they tend to have a tiny “exit” icon somewhere on top of the pop-up and the user is often unable to find it.
By blocking the screen with irrelevant visual elements, you interfere with the natural customer journey, take away control from the users and instead, force them to take a certain action. All this leads to is really poor user experience and annoyed and frustrated users.
Image Source: Instapage Blog
In this example, there is just too much going on. While the cookies information is OK, the website could at least wait until the users click on the “Got It” button before showing the pop-up that invites someone to join the mailing list. As a result, the user does not even see the page and its content as it is completely blocked by the pop-ups.
Thus, when creating a software product, it is essential to add the CTA visual elements only in the relevant places and after a certain period of time, when the user is acquainted enough with the product.
Mistake #3: Innovation at the cost of usability
When a user visits a certain website, say, an eCommerce store, they expect to see a cart in the upper right corner. That’s just something that every eCommerce website features – a universal UX rule for this type of website.
Image Source: Nike
Now, if a UX designer decides to be innovative and change the ordinary course of life, it will confuse the user. If a user lands on the eCommerce home page and does not see the cart in the upper right corner, it will be a huge turn-off and even discourage the user from further shopping.
The key thing to remember here – don’t implement innovation to the backbone elements that help the users navigate in a fast and habitual manner.
Mistake #4: The use of carousels
For some reason, carousels are widely popular but in fact, they quite often do not bring any value to a user. Here are the disadvantages of carousels on a website:
- No real value – they are just an additional piece of information.
- Take the control away from the user by automatically changing the images.
- Distract from the content on the page.
- Encourage the user to scroll down to get to the actual valuable information.
In short, a carousel is just a big image with a bit of a copy on it – so no wonder users prefer to skip it. If you really need to add a carousel to your site, make sure the users can control it (instead of automatic ones) and place a valuable offer on each image (make it clickable!).
Image Source: Shouldiuseacarousel
Mistake #5: Ignoring mobile UX
The number of mobile users worldwide is overwhelming and it keeps growing in a steady manner. This, in turn, causes a major rise in mobile app development.
Though every modern business strives to get an application, not all of these apps make it to the end, meaning, not all of them are used for longer than a few days. The reason for app uninstalling is simple – poor UX that does not help the user navigate the app and use it in an intended manner.
Some of the biggest mobile UX mistakes are:
- Tiny buttons that are OK on the desktop but cannot be seen on mobile.
- Huge copy that seems endless on mobile.
- Poor quality of images.
- Confusing navigation.
One more key difference between desktop and mobile UX is navigation. A user who browses a desktop version of a site usually has enough time to do so while a mobile user prefers to make as little taps as possible. So it’s important to keep the mobile navigation clear and simple and minimize the number of taps (but do not overdo it and keep the balance).
And don’t forget to test the app on different devices! Every device has a different screen size and resolution so it will impact the app design as well.
Pro tip: Remember performance!
The performance of a website or a mobile application is a factor that impacts the user experience heavily. If the site loads too slowly or a button is not clickable, the user may very likely leave and never come back.
Of course, the performance of a software product is not the responsibility of a UX designer alone. However, because the product fine-tuning happens behind the curtains, it is quite easy to forget about it or miss something important. I recommend paying attention to analytics and looking at the areas that are the most abandoned by users. As well, you can conduct a performance audit to identify the weak points and timely fix the existing issues.
Guest author: Irina Linnik is a digital specialist at SoftTeco – a company that designs custom software products for enterprise clients. She has over 6 years of experience in copywriting and loves creating compelling copy that informs readers about the latest technological trends in an engaging and clear manner.