Tag: UX design

Bad UX. 7 actual designer’s
mistakes in 2020

Bad UX. 7 actual designer's mistakes in 2020

When you start in the web design and software industry, you might forget the end game. You are designing a product for the end-users who you don’t know. But it is important to look at your designs from the perspective of another potential visitor, or rather a stranger. This will help you see things that you might fail to see while creating the design. It will help you create a completely different approach that will be more focused on the end-user perspective. The mission of a web designer is to create an engaging experience that will help the target audience in getting what they are looking for. During this process, the designers mostly focus on aesthetics and they end up following a generalistic design trend or pattern. Once you get distracted by the common UX design trends, you are sure to make mistakes. The reason is, most of the common UX design trends are inappropriately deployed. 

When it comes to web designing, we do not want to learn things; we just want to do things. Most of the web designers focus on the visual appeal and they end up sacrificing usability. They presume that a “wow” moment is powerful enough to engage the user for a long time. As a UX designer, it is imperative to remember that if the users have a hard time understanding the UI, then the website will have a skyrocketing bounce rate. According to a quote made by Kate Runner, “ugly but useful trumps the pretty but pointless”, thus, the key is to create the right design that will have a balance so that it not only looks aesthetically pleasing but it also adds value. That being said let us have a look at the actual designers’ mistakes in 2020. 

1. Large, fixed headers – a strict no

The first mistake that most of the web designers make is creating large and fixed headers. More and more tall sticky headers are seen on websites. Navigation menus with a fixed position and “branding blocks” take up a lot of space. They stick to the top of the browser window and then block the content as it scrolls below them. There are some headers on the big-brand websites and those are more than 150 pixels in height. This is not necessary. The fixed elements like sticky headers will have real benefits, but web designers need to be careful while using them. 

If you have plans to opt for the sticky nav header, then it is better to test with few users. A common mistake is to go overboard with the sticky nav header with the content. With a fixed header, the browsing will be comfortable for the visitors. If you cannot find the right balance, it might result in leaving a small amount of room for the main content, thus, resulting in claustrophobic site experience. Sometimes with a simple workaround in CSS, you can make the sticky header a little bit more transparent. People will be able to see the content as they scroll and this makes the content area feel more substantial. 

There is no doubt that a lot of users will be checking the website through their mobile devices. Thus, instead of a fixed header, it is better to opt for responsive design techniques. It will help you in designing different solutions for different platforms. 

2. Get rid of the thin/light fonts

Bad UX. 7 actual designer's mistakes in 2020

At present, the light fonts are in trend in most of the websites and mobile applications. With advanced screen technology and enhanced rendering, a lot of designers are choosing light fonts. Yes, they are elegant, trendy and clean. But the thin typefaces will cause usability issues and hamper the UX. The end goal of all text present on a website is to be legible and the thin type will affect the readability. Not all visitors will check the website on a display where the light fonts will be prominently visible. Some light fonts are challenging to read on an iPhone or an iPad that comes with a retina display. 

Thin and light fonts indeed look trendy. But they should not only look good. The text should be legible as well. For the proper contrast and legibility, the designers need to focus on offering better combinations in design, size, weight, and color. It will be good if you can test the legibility of the fonts on different devices and screen sizes. Thin and light fonts might look good on expensive devices. But you need to remember that most of the end-users make use of standard monitors/devices that have substandard displays. Thus, the best practice is to check how the fonts look on major devices like laptops, desktops, iPhones and Android smartphones.

3. Scroll hijacking

Another trending factor in web designing is, “scroll hijacking”. The websites that use scroll hijacking will take control of the page scrolling feature (mostly with JavaScript). When people get into those websites, they cannot control the scroll functionality anymore. Thus, they are not able to predict the behavior of the website. This leads to frustration. It is a risky experiment that could hurt the website usability and induce “computer rage”. Yes, some websites can get away with scroll hijacking, but that doesn’t mean every website can. 

A lot of websites try to follow Apple’s concept of scroll hijacking, high-resolution images of different products and parallax effects. Remember that Apple has its target audience, a unique concept and exclusive content for the audience. Similarly, every website has got its unique target audience, its unique issues and they require tailored solutions that cater to those issues. While borrowing trendy UI patterns, the best idea is to create a prototype website or mobile application and test it on real-world users for avoiding any UX issues. A simple usability test will determine whether the implementation of a scroll hijack is feasible or not.

4. Do not opt for Carousels

Bad UX. 7 actual designer's mistakes in 2020

Carousels are a slideshow that offers a variety of rotating content. This is a very common feature on the web. Some of the smartphones offer carousels as well. Yes, they can be useful at times, but carousels have multiple usability issues. According to Nielsen Norman Group, a lot of people immediately scroll down the large images and miss the information. It negatively impacts the UX because visitors will not see the valuable content in the rotating slides.

If you want to implement carousels, then do not just use it for decoration. Most of the times there are no arrows for controlling the carousels. They come with slide indicator dots. Thus, they have low discoverability, low contrast and lack a “large-enough” tappable area. The small clickable targets lead to poor UX and a website visitor will quickly exit from the website. If done in the right way, a carousel can engage users because of the striking images. The thing is, you have to make the indicators prominent and create labels to signify what the images represent. Also, if the images can have clickable links instead of being there for pure decoration, then it will be more engaging.

5. Poorly designed CTA (call to action) buttons

A call to action button can make or break any conversions on the website. It is extremely crucial. A lot of designers make the mistake of not bothering about the CTA buttons. Thus, it doesn’t influence the user in taking the final action. Also, it is important to place the CTA buttons in a place where it is visible for the users. A properly designed call to action button will drive the visitors to perform the final purchase. Thus, a designer should not be reluctant about a well-designed call to action button.

6. Slow website load time

There is a difference between a “well-designed” website and an “optimally designed” website. A website might look beautiful but it doesn’t matter if it takes too long to load. If your website is taking more than 3 seconds to load then it is not optimally designed. Users these days are not patient enough to wait for more than 3 seconds for a website to load. According to Google, 53% of the visitors leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Thus, make sure that too many design elements are not making the website slow.

7. No properly designed website for mobile

Nowadays it is very important to have a mobile-friendly website. People these days mostly use their mobiles to browse the internet. If your website is not customized to be mobile-friendly, then you are missing out on a majority of your target audience. To reap the benefits from the huge market of mobile users, it is imperative to offer a seamless end-user experience on mobile devices. 

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Personas in the User Flow. Developing the Right User Experience

Personas in the User Flow Developing

No matter what niche your business belongs to, you likely need to know the same thing that all the other businessmen think about: what do your customers want? We live in an era of strong competition when you need to not only provide good products or services but also a convenient overall experience. Analyzing numbers is an obvious method that not always brings good results. This method doesn’t allow you to detect particular customer needs. In addition, customer tastes change quickly so businesses need adaptive solutions. One of the most effective approaches is creating a user persona.

Users Personas, also known as marketing personas, are characters based on real user data that represent your customers and are aimed to help you understand them better. Creating user personas can help you improve UI and UX, detect customer pain points, develop your brand identity, adjust your writing voice, etc. For example, user personas can help you choose the right structure for your website, understanding what your visitors are interested in. User personas simplify the decision-making process and make it easier for businesses to determine the right course of action, compared to working with raw data.

A user persona reflects not a particular customer but a whole group of customers. Creating user personas is an approach that allows you to condense a lot of data into a single document which is easy to comprehend. User personas allow you to design the user experience precisely, creating a user flow based on your user persona’s preferences and personality traits.

Advantages of User Flow and User Personas for UX

A user flows is a visualization of steps users have to take to complete a certain action when using an app or website. You may design your user flow in different ways, depending on a specific task. The best approach is to create diagrams, connecting different elements logically. Here are a few good reasons to use user flows during the design process:

  • User flows can improve communication with clients and team members. A user flow is a good way of presenting information to people who are not designers, being able to discuss any important issues with the whole team.
  • User flows focus not on design details but on experience. You can evaluate the overall picture and create a comprehensive experience for users. User flows allow you to plan how your users will interact with the system and how it will react to their actions. You can also plan all the necessary decision points where your users have to make a choice.
  • One of the main advantages of user flows is that they simplify collaboration between designers, developers, and project managers. You can use user flows during workshops, quickly developing and testing different models.

User Personas can make your user flows even more effective because you don’t need to check each particular user’s analytics. A User Persona collects all the necessary information in one place and makes the data easier to process because it represents a character. If you want to figure out what are your customer’s preferences, the easiest way to find the answer is to imagine a person who will interact with your product.

A user Persona should have its name, personal motto, bio, demographics, personal traits, goals, motivations, frustrations, personality traits, and preferred brands or influencers. This way, you’ll be able to get a complete understanding of who your users are.

User Flow Tool

How to Design customer journey with the User Flow Tool

The simplest and the most effective way to create a user flow is to use the User Flow Tool. It allows you to create multiple user flows using an endless working space for your diagrams. You can share projects and collect feedback. In addition, you can export your user flows as a PDF, SVG, or an image.

One of the main advantages of diagrams created using the User Flow Tool is flexibility. You can determine the main goal and plan the route for your users depending on their response. Here’s an example of a user flow for a booking app. As you can see, this diagram allows you to plan every step depending on what your user is looking for and what they choose.

Once you’ve selected the main objective, identify the information that your visitors are looking for. What problem do they want to solve? Why do they need this information? What qualities of your product are most important to them? How can you help them take action? What are their doubts? Here’s where a user persona will provide you with the right answers.

After this, you can plan flow steps, leading your users to the right information at the right time. Focus on the most-wanted action and make sure to lead your users to it while keeping in mind their needs, preferences, and motivations.

Conclusion

User Flows are extremely effective when you need to design the right user experience. They allow you to see the overall picture, planning your users’ interactions with your website or app. However, to create a proper user flow, you should perfectly understand your users. Analyzing behavioral data on each particular user would be virtually impossible. Fortunately, you don’t need to do it because you can create a user persona that will include all the necessary information on your typical user, including their age, gender, motivations, goals, personality traits, etc. This way, you can plan a user flow with precision, clearly understanding what your users are looking for and creating a seamless user experience.

About the Author

Ester Brierley

Ester Brierley is an experienced QA engineer, balancing freelancing as a virtual assistant for College Writers. Also, she cooperates with different websites covering a broad range of digital topics as a seasoned content creator. Follow her on Twitter.

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5 Tips On Designing UX for Your Email Newsletters

5 Tips On Designing UX for Your Email Newsletters

UX design is probably not the first thing that you think of when considering email newsletters but it’s really important. You want to engage your users, get their attention and have a good relationship with them and UX design is the best way to do that. Of course, content matters just as much but keep in mind that if you present it poorly, it will not be read.

There are many elements that are important for a good UX design. However, you need to keep in mind only a few that will help your email look really amazing and that will impress your audience. Here are some of those tips.

Be consistent

One of the biggest elements of the UX design is to be consistent with your brand in your email newsletter. When someone looks at your website and your email in comparison, it should be a similar experience in color schemes and overall feel of both elements. Your email newsletter shouldn’t feel too different from your website because this could confuse your reader as to what they signed up for.

You need to stay consistent in your voice too. Make sure that you sound like you usually sound. You need to be recognizable to your users in all ways possible. The overall feel of your website should be similar to the feel of your emails.

Make a design stand out

Many designers think that they need to use many complex elements to make a design look good. But this is often not the case, because this is email. You need to consider the form. Complex designs have to work on mobile and desktop equally and this is often not possible. So, you need to use design elements which are minimalistic and focus only on certain elements. For instance, only do your brand colors. You don’t need to make it too complex.

“Don’t use too many images either because the email will be slow and they might not show everywhere. Don’t be predictable but also don’t make it too complicated,” says Glen Hubert, from tech journalist at Academized and Essay Help.

Be aware of the limitations

Your email needs to look good both on desktop and on mobile devices. More subscribers will see the email on their phone, but the dimensions and possibilities of devices vary so you need to keep that in mind. The most important thing is that it’s readable and that the users can use all functions properly. Many customers use technologies which can’t really show your email well, so keep this in mind when making an email. You need to keep all sorts of devices and browsers in mind.

Make sure that the legal requirements are fulfilled

UX design is important, but so are all of the legal requirements. The design and content should be all up to legal policies and it can’t be spam. There should be a visible unsubscribe button and an address at the end of the email. Look up some local laws as well, if you want to make sure that everything is truly legal.

Make your newsletters fun

People often make the mistake of only sending promotional emails. But the email newsletters should be fun and entertaining as well as useful. People should be happy to read your email. They should be able to find a use in it and not be annoyed by it. Send welcome emails, mix in the promotions and content, interesting articles from the niche.
Create good content, add interesting links to other good articles, address recent events in the industry, send updates and so on. “There are many things to do with your email besides share promotional things all the time and you should harness this and use it for your own benefit. People should really feel like they made a good decision when they joined,” says Susan Hill, UX designer at Essayroo and State Of Writing.

Finally, these have been some of the best tips when it comes to UX design of your emails. Make them look consistent with your brand, make the design simple yet attractive and make sure that the content you share is good and useful. You should also make sure that everything is legal. Most of all, give the people that subscribed what they hoped they would get.

Author Bio

Chloe Bennet

Chloe Bennet is a tech lead at College Essay Writing Help and Pay for assignments Australia. She writes about UX and latest design trends. Also, Chloe teaches academic writing skills at Assignment writing service Australia portal.

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