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UX fails that keep showing up: nasty UI navigation, destructive sign-up forms and page speeds from hell

UX fails that keep showing up: nasty UI navigation, destructive sign-up forms and page speeds from hell

User experience designers spend the best part of their day building experiences that capture users’ needs and enhance their journey through user interfaces. In a constantly evolving field, UXers are kept on their toes by new design trends and technology like VR and AR, startling conversion rates and whatever’s trending on Twitter.

But despite the hype around UX, there are some design fundamentals, like coherent UI navigation, fast page speed and designing with empathy, that will never go out of fashion. Respecting design guidelines and understanding where your UX is lacking will help you optimize your UI design, keep your users smiling and improve your conversion rates. With that in mind, read our post on 7 deadly UX sins and how you can avoid them.

1 — Inconsistent design breaks the user experience

Inconsistency can be UX a killer. If users find themselves in unfamiliar territory online, they are more likely to move on to a more recognizable site or app – regardless of how impressive your voice service is.

When UX designers neglect design standards, they break the user experience. If UI elements and navigation patterns don’t look and behave the way they’re expected to, they alienate users and give them an excuse to click away.

How to avoid this UX fail:

The number one rule for a consistent user experience is to respect design conventions. Try to:

  • Stick to common UI patterns to avoid UX dark patterns like unnecessary pagination and spam
  • Maintain the size, shape, color and layout of common UI elements and UI kits so users know what they’re looking at
  • Respect industry standards and design guidelines – top websites will research Apple’s human interface and Android’s material design guidelines
  • Use templates to preserve styles and maintain brand consistency

Learn how to prototype with templates in Justinmind here:

2 — Mistaking UX design for user interface design

A common user experience blunder is only thinking about the UI design. Whilst UI deals with user interactions with a site or app’s interface, UX is concerned with how the overall design makes the user feel. So although UI is an important part of the user experience, there’s a lot more to the UX design process.

When designers neglect the overall experience, the interface lacks flow – which means that there is no coherent look or structure for the user to follow. If information architecture goes out the window, all you’re left with are some pretty swanky, yet unconnected UX UI elements.

How to avoid this UX fail:

Once you’ve completed your initial user research, you can start to think about the layout of your site or app and where things should go. Map out the content of your interface with a sitemap. This is a great way to get an overall picture of what you want to build and help you create a UX flow. Interaction should be the last thing on your mind!

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3 — Neglecting prototyping in the UX design process

Major oversight there! Prototyping tools are your go to for upping your UX game and creating delightful experiences for your users. Among the benefits, a prototype will help you to:

  • Visualize and interact with your design in real-time, and give you and your team a better insight into where your design is headed
  • Identify and correct any usability issues prior to coding
  • Test your design on real users and get real, intuitive feedback instantly
  • Keep track of any changes you’ve made in the same tool
  • Align the designer and developer workflows to save time and streamline collaboration efforts

How to avoid this UX fail

Download Justinmind and build your websites and apps in a user-friendly design environment 😉

4 — Never-ending forms cause conversion funnel drop-offs

Long forms are a UX blooper. Sign up, log in and subscribe forms might not seem important in the grand scheme of UX design, but incoherent forms can cause a real rift between the user and the UI.

As the Nielsen Norman group advises, any hesitation prior to a user completing a form is going to hurt the form’s response rate, and may even cause the user to drop off the conversion funnel. Being confronted with a 25+ fields form is not on any user’s internet bucket list and is going to make them think twice before filling it in. The last thing you want is for a user to get as far as the sign up form and then click away when they see the size of your form. Size matters.

Having said that, a cleverly-designed form can contribute a great deal to site conversion – so it’s worth having a go at optimizing yours.

How to avoid this UX fail:

Stick to the essentials and keep your form length short. For instance, request the full name in one field and then split it up into first name, last name upon exporting your list to MS Excel as a .csv file.

Learn more about prototyping the perform form here:

5 — Designing for UX designers, not users

UX designers are savvy folk. They spend their days trying out cutting-edge apps, building beautiful UIs with state of the art software and gearing up for the next big UX trend. They work for the user all the time, and they are technically users themselves.

But that’s where the problem lies. If designers build experiences with their own design assumptions, they neglect the needs of their actual users. User research is the only way to anticipate and facilitate the user’s intentions and design experiences accordingly. Think about all the different user profiles out there and who needs designing for.

How to avoid this UX fail

Don’t skimp on the UX research. The best way to anticipate user needs is to observe users directly through qualitative research. This research technique captures live, instant feedback on user behavior that UXers can work directly into their designs.

6 — Leaving mobile design to the last minute

Not mobile-first? You might as well hang up your hat now. In 2016, Google reported that more than half of all search queries were coming from mobile. In the US alone this year, mobile devices dominate online browsing among millennials says comScore.

Not optimizing for mobile is a big mistake. As a community of mobile-first users, we rely heavily on our mobile devices. Poor mobile functionality = unhappy users. Unhappy users = low conversion rates.

How to avoid this UX fail

Your mobile design should allow the user to do as much on their mobile device as they can on a desktop without effecting usability.

To achieve this: build a responsive web design, test it, and get ready to tweak your mobile content. Consider what things need to be go from click to tap and scroll to swipe. As Marcus Miller postulates, responsive design is only the start to creating mobile-friendly sites. You’ll also want to consider page speed, page width, touch elements and font size.

7 — Painfully slow page speed to ruin conversion

Loading, loading…still loading

Slow page speed frustrates users because we react to technology the same way as we react to other people, counsels Tom Shapiro. When met with slow loading pages we often react negatively because we don’t cope well with having to wait for things – or at least having to wait without being told why.

In fact, according to a study led by Akamai, a 2-second delay in a web page can increase bounce rate by 103%.

How to avoid this UX fail

Keeping waiting time to a minimum makes good design sense. As Tom has it, though page speed might not be the sexiest thing to talk about, done right, it can keep your site bounce rate down and your conversion rate up. There are plenty of straightforward ways to go about optimizing your page speed, such as optimizing images and minimizing the number of plugins, videos and gifs your include on your site.

And remember, when you just can’t speed things up, be sure to communicate to the user what’s taking so long with a loading animation or an error message. Give feedback, always.


So what’s next? Get yourself set up with Justinmind and start prototyping and testing your designs with real users. Face it, it’s time get on top of these UX fails!

Emily is Marketing Content Editor at Justinmind


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