10 Outdated UX Design Practices You Should Abandon

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10 Outdated UX Design Practices You Should Abandon

The website is the backbone of your brand’s image. You probably know that by now.

Users evaluate your brand in accordance with the experience they have on your website. And that is a fact. In The Digital Customer Experience Playbook Report of 2017, Forrester Research found that an improved User Experience (UX) design could boost a website’s conversion rates up to 400%.

The problem is that most business owners are not aware of that fact. They are stuck in the old ways and misconceptions about UX design. They choose poor design solutions that don’t work to the advantage of their users. If you aim towards developing a successful business, you have to improve its online reputation. Thus, you need to avoid outdated UX design practices that no longer work.

We’ll list 10 of those practices to avoid:

1. Overly Complicated Menus

Perfect design can be described with a single word: simplicity. Minimalism seems pretty easy to achieve, doesn’t it? In practice, it’s not that easy. It takes planning and a lot of work to reach the right balance between creativity, resourcefulness, and simplicity.

If you’re trying to fit in too many options in the navigation menu, you’re guilty of an outdated UX design practice. To make the experience simpler and more enjoyable for your users, you should aim towards a logical and simple menu design.

2. Sticky Navigation

The navigation menu is extremely important for flawless user experience. But if you opt for sticky navigation and large headers, you’ll make the visitor’s eyes hurt. If a huge navigation bar follows them as they scroll down the page, it may even cover parts of the content. That’s the last thing you want, so don’t let this design solution ruin the experience for your visitors.

3. Flashy Design

Finally, here’s the most common mistake in UX design: too complex and overly flashy design. We’ve all seen those pages with numerous overlapping elements. They take ages to load and they may be good-looking, but that’s just makeup.

You have to stick to simple design and leave some white space on the pages. The menu should be easy to navigate, and the calls to action should be clearly visible on all pages.

4. Sliding Introductions

No. Just, no! Yes, visual content is extremely important for a good user experience. When they are preventing the visitors to find the information they need as soon as possible, they are nothing more than a huge distraction.

Flash introduction and distracting carousel sliders delay the process of getting information. Do not force your visitors to “work” in order to get something they won’t immediately. They won’t bother doing that.

5. Distracting Backgrounds

If you use a full-size background image to highlight the content on your website, you’re all good. An appealing background photo can improve the overall user experience. If, however, the full background image is distracting and irrelevant, it’s not doing you any good.

If you decide to use a background image, make it very relevant and don’t allow it to affect the user experience. It mustn’t cover the navigation bar or any other important elements. It mustn’t take the focus away from the content.

6. Lack of Well-Formatted Content

Developing high-quality content for your website is not easy. Ruining your efforts with textual faults, on the other hand, is really easy; it takes just a slight lack of attention. There are few details that can ruin the quality of your content in the visitor’s eyes:

1. Lack of alignment

2. Too much Caps Lock

3. Too much bold

4. Lack of organization and subheadings

5. Unreadable font

“Business owners are usually aware of the need of high-quality content, and that’s why they usually hire professional writers to take care of that part,” shared Sue Lee, part of the web design team at EssaysOnTime. “However, many of them forget that the text has to be not only informative but eye-catching as well. We see tacky and flashy design all over the place. Such pages make it hard for the reader to distinguish the most important aspects of the text.”

So what’s the solution? Just keep the organization clean and simple. Emphasize the most important points and use headings to make the text more readable.  

7. Making Your Call-to-Actions Hard to Find

All pages at your website need a CTA (call to action). If you already have a CTA button, but it takes the visitors more than three seconds to notice, they will leave the website without making that action. If you skip the call to action, this will be a dead-end page. You’re not engaging the users to continue exploring your website or do something about the stuff they just read.       

Your goal is to generate conversions and keep the visitors at the website longer.

8. New Pages for Each List Point

How would you like to see this article on 12 separate pages? There would be one web page for the intro, ten individual pages for each point on the list, and another one for the conclusion. Oh wait; we’d add another one that leads you to suggested reads. You would see tons of ads on each of these pages, and they would take too long to load.

That’s not great user experience, is it? That’s why you should avoid dividing listicles into several pages.

9. Too Many Forms

Even if your website is great from all other aspects, complicated or buggy sign-up forms will still ruin the opportunity for conversions. Think about it: you browse through a great website, and then you decide to sign up for the email campaign. Suddenly, you see a huge form that asks for your full name, email, age, sexual orientation, preferences, and several other points that are not necessary for getting emails.

Okay; that was a slight exaggeration. However, it’s still possible for the sign up form to be overwhelming even if you don’t ask for too many details. Make it simpler. Ask for relevant information, but don’t go to great extents. Make sure the visitor can sign up within seconds.

10. “Amazing” Stock Photos

When you’re trying to find tips on creating SEO-friendly content for better user experience, you’re getting the same advice: break up your great content with great images. That’s important. However, it leads to a pitfall: we’re seeing many websites using the same uninteresting, irrelevant stock photos. It’s surprising to see how many webmasters think that’s okay.

Stock photos show that you’re not trying hard enough. Do your best to feature original photos and graphics at your website.  

Are You Ready to Make Improvements?

It’s time to abandon all outdated UX design practices! If you’re guilty of making any of the above-listed mistakes, the world is not over. There’s room for improvement, and you can take that as a positive thing. Remember: your website will perform much better and you’ll be boosting the conversions once you make changes. How exciting is that?          

About the author: Rachel Bartee is a content writer and a marketing consultant from Iowa. She is content-oriented and knows how to put words into action. For the time being, she feels inspired by her daily yoga sessions and blogging experience. Get in touch on Facebook and Twitter. 

7 Misconceptions About User Experience Design

Web design has gone a long way since 1991 and Tim Berners-Lee’s first web page in the world. Although that is enough time for people to get used to its features, many still don’t know how to properly create an online presence. Namely, when building a website, it is important to know its purpose and just being online is not an option anymore.

User experience or UX design is very popular because it’s all about easing the use and access to the content. It is important to create a website that will provide necessary information to the user and be attractive. Accomplishing goals, business or personal, is one of the main features your design should follow. Misconceptions about it create confusion and wrong conclusions. The following seven are the most common ones that still live around. So let’s debunk them.

1. UX is about usability

It’s important for a website to be usable, but that is not all you should concentrate on. Web design is more demanding than that. As a business, you have to think about your goals and target audience. This means that you have to know what your audience wants through comprehensive studies.

Your website will become your brand. Also, it has to be functional and accommodate users’ needs. With these two aspects covered, your website will be functional and financially successful. This is, in the end, the purpose of using the UX design.

2. It’s about new technology

People tend to misunderstand the new technology. When something new appears, we all believe that we should use it. However, technology doesn’t work that way. It’s all about the results you want and how it can help you get them.

Observe the technology as means to achieve results by improving the user experience. Nevertheless, if new technology doesn’t do that for your website then it’s a waste of resources and can chase away your audience. So always think about the best option to improve UX design and not using something just because is fresh on the scene.

3. It’s a one-time thing

User experience is not something you can start and finish. It’s an ongoing process and requires undivided dedication. Your audience will change over time, as well as the market and terms of conduct. To be ahead of the competition you have to anticipate your target audience, improve your website and constantly observe the trends.

4. UX is a form of web design

Firstly, UX design is not a solution but the process. This means that UX doesn’t fix problems with your website. Actually, UX design is present from the beginning and is integrated into every part of your site. It presents your brand and thus implements the values your business promotes.

UX goes beyond the web design. It’s more of a principle which helps you communicate with your target audience. If you observe your business more closely, you will see that it’s the part of your everyday operations and customer relations.

5. You understand your audience

Every business thinks that it understands its audience. This is a common mistake directly attributed to the marketing process. It starts with the firm belief that you have a great product so everyone else will think that, too. Many companies operate holding to this belief and create their marketing around it.

However, it’s much more complicated. Assumptions will create the experience for the company, not its users if this kind of approach is maintained. That’s why in-depth research and analysis are necessary before developing UX design. The only way to really understand your users and find the target audience is if you do a research first, and then create the UX based on it. Creating the UX just because you believe that your product will be popular is not only wrong but can also backfire and cause financial loss.

6. Audience is rational

Your audience is not entirely rational. Presuming otherwise will only cause problems and business failures. Your users are people, and you must observe them that way. That means that they’re more than statistics and are prone to subjective thinking.

UX design has to anticipate that behavior and not suppose that people will choose your product just because it’s rationally practical. Responsive web design is one of the things that can help you with this since people use different devices and operating systems to access websites today. Respect their right to have a choice and start building from there.

7. User experience is optional

There is nothing optional about user experience. All businesses have it and use it on daily basis. Even when you believe you don’t have one, you actually do. The main difference is that you have a choice to have a quality UX or the one which will work against you.

Your website will be for the most of your customers the first thing they see about you or their primary source of information. The way you behave towards them on your website and in other forms, like direct communication or providing service in person, shouldn’t be different. It’s all part of the user experience, and it needs to be consistent.

Always observe user experience as part of the web design project since it’s the key to any successful business. Find an appropriate approach with your target audience and implement it through all aspects of your business. In addition, remember, all businesses have user experience but the difference is that functional ones are designed with care and attention based on the research of the audience.


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