User Experience (UX) designers aim to improve the overall interaction between humans and brands. Today, the primary place that humans interact with brands is via a website.
Website UX professionals make many design considerations to advance engagement with site visitors. There is both art and science behind those considerations. In doing so, Americaneagle.com teammates have identified a clear grouping of eight common UX mistakes that undeniably frustrate website visitors. Let’s call these mistakes the “not-so-great eight.” Our UX designers hope that, by sharing these avoidable mistakes, every website can begin prioritizing considerations toward a successful user experience.
1. Information Overload
“Where do I look first?” Your site’s home page is not the place to tell your whole story. Your home page cannot be everything for everybody. Don’t try to do that. Instead, simplify. Welcome your site visitor to content that affirms they are in the right place. Put yourself in their shoes. Prioritize the site’s content and navigation based on your most important visitor personas. This is often referred to as empathic design. Entice them to dig deeper with a limited number of priority features and thoughtfully-selected site offerings alongside clear navigation options. Create a visual hierarchy for your home page and limit the number of priorities you present.
2. Incongruent Branding
The first thought a site visitor should have when they get to your site is, “I am in the right place.” There are many ways to quickly communicate that assurance within your website. Prominent logo placement, of course, is one. Brand consistency of color scheme, voice, and style are also very important. Brand standards should inform smart web design decisions. Not every site carries a brand that is widely recognized. In those cases, clear taglines or visual cues to indicate the site’s purpose are critical to communicating your brand and what you do.
3. Lost Navigation
4. Slow Site Speed
Don’t make your site visitors wait. Slow load times keep website visitors from successfully interacting with your brand. Whether it is bloated code, poorly-optimized media files, or a number of other contributors toward excessive download times, few site visitors are willing to wait for you. If there is a wait for your site to load, many potential visitors will go elsewhere. A bonus: efforts toward improving UX with faster site speed will also improve your site’s search engine optimization (SEO).
5. Readability Mistakes
Content is still king. If your website’s font size is too small, or is fixed and does not allow for magnifying, users will not have the opportunity to engage with your content. Other factors that negatively impact readability are low contrast between text and background, a poor choice in text color (like using neon colors that are harder on the user’s eyes to read) or fonts, and line length beyond 90 characters, among others. Also, resist the urge to use underlines, as users will read that as a link to another web page.
6. Not Mobile-Friendly
With over 50% of all website traffic now being mobile, mobile-first is the growing norm for website design and development. Responsive design ensures that website content adjusts for successful display on varying screen sizes, like desktop, tablet, and mobile. The user experience is improved by not having to unnecessarily zoom, scroll, or struggle with navigation limitations on different screen sizes. Responsive design also helps your website’s ranking within search engines.
7. Poor Accessibility
When considering user experience, the experience of all users should be included. The Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) is the governing body of the internet. They have outlined a set of international guidelines that they call the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2. These guidelines promote inclusivity. The best practices for accessibility compliance include, but are not limited to, detailed tagging (page titles, H1s, H2s, alt tags, etc.), eliminating unnecessary tables, and deploying accessible navigation menus.
8. No Contact Info
Website visitors are often frustrated by the absence of, or difficult to find, contact information. A website’s contact us page is one of the most important pages on a website. It is, typically, second in traffic to only the website’s homepage. Make it easy to find. Include a phone number and email address as well as a brief, easy-to-use contact form. After a visitor submits a contact form, redirect them to a thank you page which explains how you’ll be following up with the communication.
We hope that these “not-so-great eight” UX mistakes that frustrate your website visitors will inspire you to thoughtfully consider your website’s user experience within all of your digital efforts. If you feel like your brand would benefit from the help of a digital marketing and web design company such as Americaneagle.com, we would be honored to assist you. Contact us to help shape tomorrow’s user experience for your brand today.