1. Not starting off with UX in mind
It is imperative that a clean and easy user experience is implemented early on and throughout the whole development process. The longer you wait to implement best UX processes and strategies, the more changes you will have to make down the road and it will cost you a lot more time and money to re-do what has already been done poorly. UX should be one of the highest priorities on your list, as this is normally the most important fulfillment users need. UX should not be added in half-heartedly later on, or even worse, after the product is launched.
Research, test, build, test, and be confident in your user experience before you launch, even in beta. A solid user experience can lead to a better, more effective design in the long run.
2. Clear Set of UX Goals
Whether this is a new blog talking about the latest web technologies, or an amazing startup launching a new product, it is extremely important to show a clear goal. When a user finds your site or product they should be able to know exactly what it is within seconds of seeing your site. This should be the most important and forefront element on the page. A nice simple header explaining your service, maybe a quick paragraph about it, and an image or video is all you need on the landing page.
Keep it simple and explain your product. Get the core description right, and the right users will come.
3. Information Overload
A lot of designers feel they need to cram crazy amounts of information on a single page. Posts, ads, icons, social media links, email lists, and pop-ups can seriously affect the experience of a new user on the site, not to mention it can easily make them turn away and just leave the site.
When designing, consider organizing the information in a way that is easy on the eyes. Clearly define headers and paragraphs, separate information, use white space where it is necessary, and try to organize social links along with ads or other extraneous information in a subtle manner so as to not put a burden on the user.
4. Forms, Forms, Forms!!
A personal pet-peeve of mine is form design. Whether it be a contact form or a sign up/sign in form, some have a common problem: Too many fields. When building and developing your forms add only the absolute most important fields that are necessary. It is imperative not to clutter the form and make it so the user must add a bunch of extra details when all that is needed are a few things like a name, email, and message for example. Besides too many fields, another isssue is proper use of form elements.
With so many form elements to choose from, each with distinct advantages and disadvantages, it can be difficult to decide which elements to use in a given situation. Use radio buttons, checkboxes, and select boxes appropriately: for radio buttons or checkboxes, use the fieldset and legend tags to group the elements logically under an obvious heading. This grouping keeps the form manageable to users, as it can be broken down into smaller pieces in their minds.
Radio buttons are used when there is a list of two or more options that are mutually exclusive and the user must select exactly one choice. In other words, clicking a non-selected radio button will deselect whatever other button was previously selected in the list. Checkboxes are used when there are lists of options and the user may select any number of choices, including zero, one, or several. In other words, each checkbox is independent of all other checkboxes in the list, so checking one box doesn’t uncheck the others.
A stand-alone checkbox is used for a single option that the user can turn on or off.
I could go on and on about form fields but I’ll save that for another post. What I will leave you with regarding forms is if your sites conversions rely on form submissions. Make it as ABSOLUTELY EASY as it can be for the customer to submit that form.
5. Too Much Text.. blah, blah, blah.
There is a ton of research that shows users are much more engaged with visual cues than text based content. When designing keep in mind not to overload on text and to provide some visuals and possibly video or audio to make the website or app interesting.
Do keep in mind not to over-complicate it though. Features are nice, but not if it is preventing the user from using your actual service. A good balance of imagery and enough text to get your poinb across is good. I always try to give a minimum amount of text to explain a product of feature on the initial page and then provide access to deeper content if the visitor wants more info. Define the goal of the user, and help them reach it. What do you want the user to do when visiting your site or app, how should they interact with it, what problems might they face? These are just a few of the many questions you could & should ask when designing and developing a new product.
Work on UX from the beginning, it’s necessary.
To help you do it, right here are some tips:
- Build a good product for the right task, not the perfect product.
- Evolve and test your product. It doesn’t have to be amazing from the get go.
- Work on those forms and keep them clean.
- Use clear and easy to understand copy.
- Humanize your product, don’t make it too hard for common people to understand.
- Identify issues with a product and brainstorm changes
- Ask users if they have the same issues
- After validating an issue create a sketch, wireframe, or rapid prototype
- Engage users again, observe how they use the prototype
- Iterate and show the improved version to more users
- Deploy, measure, and validate with users that their pain is relieved