7 Common Mistakes in UX Design: Avoiding and Fixing Them
Have you recently seen a website that is stuck in the 90s with tiled images, brightly colored fonts, distracting backgrounds, and confusing navigation? Not only are these outdated, but most provide a poor user experience (UX).
Neglecting UX is detrimental to sales, conversions, and branding. Avoid these seven common mistakes in UX design:
- Ignoring user research.
- Complicated navigation.
- Poor mobile responsiveness.
- Cluttered and inconsistent designs.
- Poor readability.
- Lack of calls to action (CTAs).
- Disregarding accessibility.
With an experienced Chicago UX agency, you can avoid or fix these common mistakes and optimize for UX. Let’s go!
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1. Ignoring User Research
Diving into the design of a website without first performing research is a recipe for disaster. Overlooking users’ needs and pain points leads to assumptions about their preferences, resulting in UX design challenges that can become too costly to fix.
User research reveals new opportunities and potential areas, and ignoring it means missing out on discovering unique insights that may enhance a brand’s competitive advantage. To avoid this mistake, a Chicago UX agency recommend the following strategies:
- Integrate user research into the early stages of the design process, from concept to implementation.
- Clearly define research objectives and questions to address during the research phase in order to gather relevant data.
- To comprehensively understand user behavior, use different research methods such as interviews, surveys, usability testing, and analytics.
- Encourage collaboration between designers, developers, stakeholders, and end-users during the research process.
- Test design prototypes and concepts regularly using real users to ensure that the design meets their needs.
2. Overcomplicating Navigation
Complex or unclear navigation confuses users and makes finding what they seek challenging. This can lead to frustration and increase bounce rates. Simplifying website navigation significantly improves a website’s UX design. Work with a Chicago UX agency to apply best practices in UX design for seamless site navigation:
- Limit the number of menu items on the website's most critical sections or pages. A maximum of five to seven menu items are sufficient.
- Use clear and descriptive labels and avoid jargon or ambiguous terms that might confuse visitors.
- Implement a logical information hierarchy by subdividing the content into categories and subcategories.
- Utilize drop-down menus to organize subpages and content but use them sparingly and thoughtfully.
- Implement a fixed or sticky navigation bar that remains visible as users scroll through the page.
- Conduct usability testing with real users to identify areas for improvement.
3. Neglecting Mobile Responsiveness
With the increasing use of mobile devices, mobile responsiveness has become one of the top qualities that users look for in a website. Neglecting mobile responsiveness alienates a significant portion of the user base and results in a poor user experience. Remember these best practices when designing a website to work on mobile devices:
- Adopt a mobile-first approach, prioritizing the mobile experience during the design process. This makes certain that the core user experience remains intact, regardless of the device used.
- Optimize images and media, as mobile devices often have limited bandwidth and processing power. Compress images without compromising quality by using appropriate file formats and implementing lazy loading.
- Use responsive design techniques such as fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries to adapt the layout and content according to screen size and device orientation.
- Prioritize content and interactions by keeping the essential elements such as navigation, calls to action (CTAs), and important information easily accessible.
- Test the design across various devices and platforms to ensure compatibility and consistent performance.
4. Having a Cluttered and Inconsistent Design
Too much clutter or inconsistency in design elements makes the site interface confusing and complicated to use. Clutter affects engagement and user satisfaction. Fix a cluttered and inconsistent web design by following these techniques:
- Simplify the website layout by removing unnecessary elements, content, or visual distractions.
- Create a clear visual hierarchy that guides users through the content according to importance. Use simple headings, subheadings, font sizes, and colors.
- Standardize the design elements, including buttons, links, icons, form fields, and other design components.
5. Creating a Website with Poor Readability
Choosing inappropriate fonts, colors, or font sizes affects readability. Poor readability makes it hard for users to consume content and causes them to leave the site or app. Improve readability by following these top strategies:
- Choose an appropriate font that is readable on various screen sizes and resolutions, such as the sans-serif fonts Arial, Helvetica, or Open Sans.
- Make sure that the font size is large enough for reading, especially on mobile devices. Use a minimum font size of 16 pixels for body text and pay attention to line spacing.
- Use a high-contrast color scheme to enhance readability. One example is using black text on a white background or vice versa for a classic high-contrast combination.
- Break content into easy-to-digest chunks using subheadings, bullet points, and numbered lists to organize content and encourage visual breaks.
- Minimize distracting decorative elements around the text. Ensure appropriate spacing between images and illustrations in the text.
6. Lacking Clear CTA
When a site lacks clear CTAs, users are unaware of what action to take next. If they become frustrated, they might abandon the website or app. Having clear and well-placed CTAs guides users through using the website.
Follow these website design strategies to create clear CTAs:
- Use action-oriented language that tells users what action to take. Use action verbs such as "Sign up," "Buy now," "Download," or "Enroll now."
- Make CTAs stand out by using contrasting colors, bold typography, or buttons with ample whitespace around them to draw attention to the CTA.
- Communicate the value or benefit users will get. Instead of a generic "Click here," use "Download the free eBook" or "Get 30% off today."
- Position CTAs in locations that align with user flow and page context.
- Guarantee that mobile-friendly CTAs work well on smaller screens.
7. Disregarding Accessibility
Failing to make website design accessible to all users, especially those with disabilities, excludes a significant portion of the population. Disregarding accessibility also goes against inclusivity and equality. Create the best UX design that prioritizes accessibility by following these best practices.
- Follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to ensure that the design meets necessary accessibility standards. Consider at least WCAG 2.1 Level AA compliance.
- Provide alternative text for images to convey the image's content and function for users with visual impairments.
- Create keyboard-friendly interactions without relying on mouse or touch-based interactions for users who have motor disabilities.
- Use clear and concise language to enhance readability and comprehension for all users, including people with cognitive disabilities.
- Conduct usability testing with people who have disabilities to find out about accessibility and usability issues.
- Identify any usability issues unique to local business or organization websites. For instance, a Chicago business’s website must have the company’s city address, phone number, and other contact information displayed on every page. Adding a map showing where the business is in Chicago also improves usability.
- Provide captions and transcripts for multimedia to make them accessible to users with hearing impairments.
UX design is an iterative process. Learn from these mistakes to create more user-friendly and successful websites for your users. In addition, keep track of usability trends and accessibility regulations to ensure compliance and promote your brand, products, and services to a broad range of users.
Find out why great UX design matters and how it can make a difference on your website. Contact Digital Authority Partners (DAP) for expert Chicago UX design information.
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