The startup culture has encouraged people to be polymaths. An entrepreneur who sells leather bags online does not only have a keen eye for good and bad bag design but he will also have some sense of marketing, website development, and user experience design. He may not have hands-on experience and may not be able to figure out the technicalities of the later, but he will have an informed opinion regarding them. It is a good thing; a polymath entrepreneur keeps designers on their toes as he settles for nothing but flawless.
Of all these things that build an entrepreneurship venture from scratch, User Experience (UX) design seems to have gained the most traction over the years. It seems to be on top of every designer’s ‘goals list’. But UX design is really not as simple as a YouTube tutorial might claim it to be. UX design will essentially fail if it is not constantly evolving and adapting. A static UX is a reason why clients leave designers dissatisfied.
The website of many brands stands potentially at the center of their marketing strategy. And the UX design stands at the center of the success of the website. While a good UX design encourages customers to spend more time on the website and visit often, a bad UX design may repel even the loyal customer base.
Every day, we see more bad UX designs than we see the good ones. This means that there is a lot of scope for flaws in UX design. These flaws are the reason your clients have issues with your UX.
Let’s look at some of the most common mistakes that UX designers make and which clients refuse to overlook.
- Slow Loading Sites
In an age where time is valued more than money, slow loading sites should be criminalized. Home pages that take their own sweet time to load are a torturing experience that will instantly frustrate the visitor and tempt him/her to abandon the site. Majority of the visitors will not wait for the contents of a slow website to load even if they are actually interested in finding out about the products/services of the website. According to web design usability infographic by GO-Gulf, 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
A slow loading site also gets on the nerves of clients who want everything to work within the snap of fingers. According to a research, just a 1 second delay in website load time can result in 7% loss in conversations, 11% fewer page views and 16% decrease in customer satisfaction (Source).
- Stock Photos
Photos on a website do not just fill up empty space but provide a visual experience. People look at them for ideas and motivation to buy the product. These things are an essential part of UX design education as user experience is a sensual form of design. And stock photos do not provide an impressive visual experience to your user, to say the least.
Stock photos, because they are available in bulk and fit almost every scenario, are very easily accessible and often used by designers when they are trying to get away with the job. But users are highly likely to have viewed the same photo somewhere else on the internet which leaves a bad impression on the user and deteriorates the website experience for them.
A designer’s client is definitely going to be disappointed upon seeing stock photos on his website because on one hand he is claiming to sell unique and exquisite products and on the other hand the brand website exhibits an ugly, overused stock photo. How does that go together?
- Forced components of the UX
This is a mistake designer often make with eCommerce sites. Demanding a user to forcefully register before checkout is a real bummer. When users are forced to register before checkout, they are likely to abandon their cart and the website altogether. User Interface Engineering reports, 45 percent increase in sales when forced registration is removed.
With such design, clients request to create attractions for registration rather than making registration a hindrance in the checkout process.
Forcing an experience on the user hardly ever works especially for an eCommerce store. eCommerce designers should think creatively and always leave room for the choice of the user when designing for experience.
- Unnecessarily complex design
Speaking of creativity, it is sometimes a misplaced concept in design. Designers often mistake complexity for creativity. They pile up one design component over another and another without any consideration of how the effect of these components mirrors on the user experience.
And to say it in a nutshell, the more complex a design gets, the less emotive and grasping it becomes for a user. Designers need to realize that their clients and website users are simple people who do not understand design terms and see things in the same context as designers do.
Nobody cares about the complex technicalities of a design if it gets in the way of the accessibility of information.
Image source: https://www.revechat.com
People land on a certain website for one purpose: to engage with the brand, be it in an informative way or a transactional way. And when catering to engagement, communication should be a two-way street. In fact, it should be a dialogue between the brand and the visitor.
The engagement, again, is maintained by the sounds, visuals, and the emotive experience that the user has while browsing through the website. It can be enhanced by social share buttons, features like live chat, and testimonials of other customers.
All of the above, together with an apparent general feel of the webpage are means of maintaining communication with users. The lack of this engagement is felt immediately numerically as well as experientially when the website fails to make a place among its target audience.
- Outdated content/features
Because design is such an actively evolving field, the website you design is bound to look outdated and sloppy at some point. When that happens, clients expect you to work out a solution immediately.
The trick is to use components that can be easily changed over time. For example, you can always change images, illustrations, motion graphics, and color tones of a website to revamp its look. But you must always keep up to date with the icons and transitions that gain most user traction.
- Impressive Design VS Usable Architecture
The first thing that springs to mind when one thinks of design is the aesthetic aspect of it. Unfortunately, that is where most designers are stuck at as well.
Designers put way too much emphasis on the aesthetic and visual appeal of the design and forget to go beyond that over to usability. The purpose of your website is not to look appealing; it is a live product itself which users are going to interact with. And if it doesn’t respond back accordingly, it has failed.
- Poorly Designed Search Function
Image source: https://searchengineland.com
More than half of the users on the internet are search dominant. They put in their query right into the search box with no mind to fancy navigation menus or drop down features. Unfortunately, designers do not give the search function its due importance.
This is evident from the fact that most search functions are poorly placed, badly designed, and do not function to their maximum potential. This can be a frustrating experience for a focused, time-valuing visitor who is forced to sift through other navigation options rather than what he is most comfortable with.
- Giving no heed to user feedback
Image source: www.buzinga.com.au
User feedback for UX design of a website is really not that hard to gather. It can be gathered through click-through rates as well as direct contact with users.
However, you choose to gather the feedback, the important thing is to act upon that feedback. Since you are designing experiences, not shoes with fixed sizes, the website design has to change with the behavior and preferences of users.
- Not optimizing for mobile
Mobile optimization may seem extra work if you’re just bootstrapping or testing the waters for your product but in the long run, your client is definitely going to demand a mobile-friendly website or a mobile app. In today’s day and age, nobody wants an unresponsive website which doesn’t properly load on their mobile phones.
While this article focuses on the ways a designer can improve the user experience of a website, that’s not all folks. User experience extends to all services and means that are touchable by a consumer, which includes the social media presence of the brand, the customer service provided by a brand, as well as the packaging of products. Although the heft of designing the user experience falls on the designer, it does include other members of the team and the entrepreneur’s ideology towards the brand just as much.