There are design mistakes that can jeopardize the effectiveness of user experience. Design requires a lot of planning, following set principles, and having a clearly identified design goal. Even though design patterns and aesthetics are constantly changing, users still need to accomplish their tasks without too much brainpower.
Here are some of the common UX design mistakes plaguing current web and application design trends and what you can do to avoid them.
Light fonts on a light background
Light weight fonts are trendy right now. They are elegant and fashionable so using them in your design can make your app or site appear more modern. However, use of these light weight fonts can cause usability problems especially when they are placed on top of a background with low color contrast. As a design rule, fonts should always be legible and not everyone visiting your website or using your app will be viewing in on a display that will render thin type well. If you intend to use light weight fonts, ensure there is a 3:1 contrast ratio with the background.
Tutorial Screens as Onboarding
Tutorial screens often appear when users are first using a new app. They are supposed to give users a sense of value for the app and to make sure they know all of what they can do with it. However, these intro screens often contain excessive information, bombarding users with its value before they have had the chance to try it.
Progressive onboarding is a solution to this problem. The progressive onboarding process is interactive, providing the user with instructions as they actually use the app. The whole premise behind progressive onboarding is that users learn by doing.
Should you use a carousel? Probably not. SEO and conversion experts agree on the fact that sliders have little use 99% of the time. Sliders have had extensive usability studies done on them. Here are some of the findings:
Only 1% of the people click on a slide, which almost always was the first slide
- People ignore your slider, because it triggers banner blindness. When the images of your slider look too much like a banner or advertisement, visitors ignore them and move on. Eye tracking studies conducted by the Neilson Norman Group found as soon as visitors perceived something to be an advertisement they turned their focus away from it.
- Auto-forwarding carousels and accordions annoy users and reduce visibility.
- They slow down your site, negatively impacting your SEO and conversion rate
- Sliders don’t always work well on mobile devices
Instead of using sliders to feature multiple offers, creating different landing pages to target you different audience segments is the single most effective way to reach multiple audiences with targeted offers.
While these studies are mostly looking at sliders that commonly appear on a website’s home page, using sliders in e-commerce for product images & descriptions is highly effective. On e-commerce sites, people have much higher interactivity levels with product image gallery carousels: 72% of users advance the carousel at least one and 23% of users interact with the carousel by zooming.
Not optimizing a design for Mobile
In 2017, over 63.4% of mobile phone users will access online content. Every year, these statistics are expected to increase. Not optimizing your design for mobile can cost a lot of lost conversions. Mobile optimization takes a look at site design, site structure, page speed, and more to make sure you're not inadvertently turning mobile visitors away. UX designers have a few choices on how to optimize an app or website for mobile: either use responsive design, dynamic serving, or a separate site configuration. Each has its advantages and disadvantages and it is worthwhile to note that Google has a preference for responsive design (although if other methods are used properly, Google will support it).
Not optimizing for mobile can hurt your SEO. On April 21, 2015, Google updated their algorithm to give a boost to mobile-friendly pages.
Giving your boss what they want
All design projects need a clear understanding of the goal. Design decisions that stray from the goal are bad. And of course, there is always going to be a client, boss, or someone in charge who is going to demand that you go against that goal. Experience tells us this won’t end well. The UX will fail. It is important to speak up at these moments and make your case with solid evidence from research, reports, and statistics. It’s not easy to speak up when you feel your job can be on the line, but the result of not doing so is a mediocre portfolio that will eventually be difficult to hide from.