In this web design tutorial, we will discuss some of the common user experience design mistakes that web developers and designers tend to make, which could result in a poor experience for users visiting your website. This, in turn, could affect repeat visits, sales, and even your ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Tips for Avoiding User Experience (UX) Design Mistakes
A website plays a massive role in determining how potential customers perceive your brand. If the site offers a solid user experience (UX), you will have a better chance of building trust and converting those potential customers into loyal ones. What can prevent a solid user experience from taking place? The following UX design mistakes. So whether you are about to build a new site or have an existing one, make sure to avoid these UX errors at all costs.
What makes a website “slow”? If it takes over four seconds to load. Further, if a user is visiting your website on mobile, you need to cut that number in half, as smartphone users demand even snappier speeds.
A slow site not only makes for a negative user experience, but it also can hamper your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and hide you from potential customers. To improve site speed and boost your UX, try the following:
- Make sure your code is clean by avoiding inline styling, excessive white space, and tons of unnecessary or redundant comments.
- Compress your images.
- Cache your site. If using WordPress, there are many cache plugins to help you achieve this performance-boosting goal. Some web hosting companies offer caching as well.
Having a Non-Responsive Design
Developing with a responsive design in mind is a must. In other words, you need to make sure that your website looks good and functions well across various environments so that all visitors have an enjoyable user experience, regardless of how they are viewing the site – whether that be via mobile device, tablet, laptop, or television screens.
Does your site adapt to a user’s screen size, regardless of whether they are viewing it on a smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc.? Does it look good on both large and small screens? If you can answer yes to those questions, then you have a responsive design. And thanks to that design, users will stay on your site longer and remain engaged, which increases the likelihood of you converting them into customers. It also ensures that your site navigation and content is usable and readable as you intended.
What does a non-responsive site design look like? It is one that is not mobile-friendly, which is a no-no nowadays, since so many people use their phones to browse the Web. A non-responsive design is also hard to navigate, has poor readability and image quality when switching between devices, and produces a negative overall user experience.
To keep yourself from developing a site with a non-responsive design, start small. Test the site to ensure it loads correctly on small screens and mobile devices. Once it does, you can then work your way up to larger screens and devices, such as tablets and computers.
You can also use tools to ensure your website design is responsive, such as CSS3 Modules and Media Queries to help you quickly adjust content according to varying screen and device sizes.
A visitor should be able to move seamlessly from one section of your site to another. If they can not, they will not be able to find your content, which will decrease the UX and crush your conversions.
Some tips to ensure your website is easily navigable include:
- Testing the navigation on mobile to ensure it is responsive.
- Following a simple structure with your navigation bar and removing any clutter.
- Making sidebars stand out from the rest of the content.
- Ensuring link colors change once clicked, so users know where they have visited and what is left to see.
- Limiting button use to calls to action (CTAs).
- Naming hyperlinks in a clear and logical manner.
- Analyzing user navigation via evaluation tools.
Not Making Your Content Scannable
When you visit a website for the first time, do you read every single word you see, or do you skim? It is probably the latter, as most of us lack the patience to dedicate a ton of time to a single site, and reading online is also harder. According to statistics, reading text on a screen takes 25 percent longer than in print, which is why making sure your content is easily scannable is a must.
When confronted with a massive wall of text, many visitors will not read a single word, even if the topic interests them. Add in all of the distractions on a page, such as video, photos, hyperlinks, and animations, and it is no wonder why making content scannable is so essential to a good user experience.
To make your content scannable so you can improve your site’s UX, do the following:
- Use plenty of white space to keep the user’s screen from appearing overloaded with information. You can do this by keeping paragraphs short, using subheadings, and bulleted lists.
- Highlight any keywords that you want users to focus on.
- Place pictures throughout with short captions to get your point across.
- Write content that is short and to the point.
- Use links instead of stuffing everything on the same page to supply users with extra details or more information.
Loading Your Site With Irritating Pop-Ups
Pop-ups are nothing new, but that does not make them any less annoying. Can a popup serve a practical purpose? In some instances, sure, as they can help catch someone’s attention, increase potential ROI, get conversions, keep visitors from exiting a site, and increase browsing time. But many users are not fond of pop-ups because of the following reasons:
- Pop-ups negatively impact overall UX.
- They make a user feel like they have to take a specific action.
- They are seen as suspicious and make many think of malware.
- They can look horrible on mobile devices.
- They can create distraction and confusion.
- They can make a user leave a site prematurely and lead to a high bounce rate.
- Popups can damage a brand’s reputation by giving off a poor first impression if not used properly.
To prevent popups from negatively impacting your site’s UX, do the following:
- Only use pop-ups when they add value to the UX.
- Make sure your pop-ups are in line with the rest of your site in terms of quality.
- Test your pop-ups to make sure they are responsive and not glitchy.
- Time pop-ups so they do not appear as soon as a visitor reaches your site.
- In the top right corner of the pop-up, place a highly visible “X” so the visitor can exit out of it with ease.
- If your pop-up intends to collect user information, be selective in what it asks for. Do not try to make the user do too much work.
- Do not place pop-ups on every single page of your site. Once again, be selective and minimalist.
Setting Your Videos to Auto-Play and Unmuted
Users like to feel like they are in control when visiting a website. What happens when you visit a site and are hit with videos that auto-play with sound? You feel like you are not in control, making you want to exit the site as quickly as possible.
Are videos helpful to websites? Absolutely, as they can snag a user’s attention, convey information with ease, and increase conversions. But unless you have a professional news site, visitors probably do not want to see or hear videos without their consent.
If you feel like you must use autoplay on your site, perform an A/B test first. One version of your site can use autoplay, while the other can let users click play themselves. And if you find that autoplay is a necessity, at least try to mute the video when it plays so you can reduce its irritation factor. Both Facebook and Twitter use silent autoplay, so use them as examples.