No matter the business, having a website with a great user experience (UX) design is crucial for success. A lousy website can turn willing customers away or fail to help get them through the sales funnel. Whereas having a good UX will provide a smooth and purposeful experience that can help drive customers from the homepage to the checkout page.

The thing is, designing a meaningful experience can be a tough ask. The user’s needs can differ by audience type, and what works for one type of business or industry might not work for another. However, there are some basic UX taboos that many designers (sometimes even veterans) fall prey to. So here’s a quick list of things to avoid.

1. Failing to Create a Balance

A lot of UX designers find it hard to balance creativity and functionality. There’s been a heavy focus on creating a personalized experience with plenty of pleasing aesthetic elements. The importance of creativity shouldn’t be underestimated, but it needs to be tempered with an unencumbered and intuitive experience. 

Too much functionality but no aesthetics creates a forgettable website that people won’t likely visit again unless out of necessity. On the other hand, a visually pleasing website that isn’t well-optimized is a frustrating experience that no one will want to return to.

2. Failing to Optimize for Different Devices

Having a responsive design is a well-established part of website creation, and it’s probably not news to anyone anymore. Yet, there are still plenty of web pages out there that don’t take full advantage of the available screen space. Imagine visiting a poorly optimized website where the words run far over the page and the buttons don’t work properly. It probably isn’t going to lead to a satisfied customer/user or a repeat visit.

As of 2019, about 40.1% of the time spent on websites is spent using mobile devices. UX designers who don’t optimize their sites for that crowd are costing their company a lot of business.

3. Adopting too Many Changes too Frequently

The web is a constantly evolving beast with a lot of moving parts. Trying to keep up with every new trend in UX design is a path that leads to madness. Of course, it’s good to update the website now and then. When a new trend hits, like interactive chatbots, that would be a perfect fit for the company’s online presence.

Not only can changing the website too often be problematic and confusing but adopting too many trends can be extremely frustrating for the user. For instance, few (if any) people get excited to see a website with a lot of pop-ups and push notifications.

4. The First Impression is a Letdown

For any person, their first impression of websites – much like first impressions of other people –  tend to stick. Once that impression is created, it’s hard to change. For one, they probably won’t head back of their own accord, and convincing them to go back is nearly impossible. Not least of all because it’s extremely hard to re-establish a connection with users who leave because of poor website design.

While the statistics on how quickly people lose interest in websites are a little outdated, the 15-second principle is still a good rule of thumb. It’s better to plan for people who create an impression within 15 seconds than to hope that they take longer to form a vested interest. Load times play a big role here too, which is part of optimizing the UX design. About 47% of people expect a website to load within 2 seconds.

5. Designing for Search Engines Instead of People

SEO is undoubtedly important, and designing the website with search engines in mind is crucial in today’s climate. However, many designers forget that it won’t be search engines that actually have to be satisfied with their website experience. It’s still people for who they should be designing and creating content. Plus, the way users interact with the website has a big impact on SEO anyway. When they leave quickly or jump between pages, that can have a negative impact too.

Conclusion

There are many elements to keep track of when it comes to UX design, on the page and off. Designers should remember that they’re accessing company accounts and should take precautions to protect that IP. When working, make sure to always use a VPN to prevent online attacks. What is a VPN? It’s a tool that encrypts the network connection to keep third parties from snooping and accessing accounts or stealing any data.

Also Read: 7 Tips to Prevent UX Errors on Your Website