5 Common Design Mistakes that Disappoint Users

Default avatar.
May 17, 2019
5 Common Design Mistakes that Disappoint Users.
Designing an interactive interface or a website is not an easy feat. You have to analyze everything about your audience, in the first place their behavior, and then implement thorough planning. New technologies are making it easier but they are also making the users more tech savvy and hard to impress. Glossy images and hover effects are no longer impressive to users. Neither are animations or gifs - especially when everyone can make their own in just a few steps with their phones. So, how do you go about creating a great experience for your users? How do you make them happy and keep the conversions coming? This is only getting harder if you make mistakes in your design in order to impress your audience. So, without further ado, here are some of the mistakes designers commonly make in order to amaze visitors:

1. Innovating Too Much

Design, in itself, is a creative endeavor. Designers are artists in their own respect and they always seek to express themselves through their work. They are always innovating and making sure that their designs stand out in the sea of other designs. But if we are talking about designing a perfect interactive experience for your users, innovation might not always be the best choice. It might not be good for the niche or even that specific website. Users need to feel comfortable when visiting a website. They need that familiarity in the ways that they work with a website — you know, the common navigation patterns. They are very used to this and going off track in order to be clever or unique can only harm you, especially if you go too far. For instance, you may have a great project in mind, some gamification methods for example, however, if you stray too far into the unknown the user will stumble onto your website, see the thing and just walk away because they won’t know what to do with it. Especially so if they are seeking just some basic information.

2. Confusing Navigation

This is a mistake we see all too often. So many websites start out as great experiences and then mess everything up with poor navigation. Some go for strange navigation places where users won’t think to look. And yet the biggest problem users have is not that — it’s all the weird names for common pages. So, instead of the simple and sufficient “home, about, contact, blog” pattern, you get “our universe, the theory of an artist, follow your stars, always learn more”, for instance. The thing is that users will appreciate the creativity in naming — at some point, if they manage to figure out what name is for what. It takes them a lot of browsing to find what they need. Keep in mind that most users are not there to marvel at your skill in designing but rather to find information they need to contact the company or learn more about what they have to offer. And the very purpose of the design is to allow them to do so quickly and simply, without wandering about for too long. If they do, they will probably leave the site and then the purpose of design is defeated.

3. Hating White Space

Once upon a time, sticking as many things as possible on your website was a trend. You had boxes of information all around the place, advertisements and much, much more. But that was then and we have moved (thankfully) far, far away from that. Simplicity is in. Zen is in. Users don’t want to be overwhelmed when they enter your website. They want a clear and streamlined experience that will give them what they need. And yet, many websites still make the mistake of cluttering, thinking that they are actually not. But, you see, sticking to a single color scheme is fine but you need to think about other elements too. Having too much information on any page will have your readers running away. It also looks very, very spammy, no matter how much you want to promote. So, nail the basics first. Then move on to creating something impressive to look at and interact with.

4. Not Using Contrast

Honestly, without contrast - what is there left? It’s so important to use it to establish that visual hierarchy and move the user’s attention to the places where you want them to. It’s not just colors, it’s sizes, shapes, placement. Everything on a single website needs to be in contrast to another thing to show its value and importance in a subtle way.
People automatically understand that the smaller button is less important than the bigger button. They understand that the bigger letters or more emphasized letters are more important
~ Donald Emerson, an design blogger at Writemyx So, make sure that your design has plenty of contrast to show the user where to go and what to do.

5. Complex Forms

Forms are a pain for everyone. No one likes to fill them out. But, they are also a necessary evil if you want to get consumer data to use for further endeavors. However, they don’t need to look ugly and be annoying. What leads to this? Well, for one, long forms that ask for too much. The user might go through with the form if they care enough. But in most cases, they don’t — especially not enough to do “where is the bus?” captchas — so, eliminate that ugly form and go for something simple and stylish. Stick to the simple - first name, last name, email (add more basics if you need, like password, for instance) or even better, first name, email. Don’t ask for too much. And, for the love of design, test the thing. Some forms on the web ask for too much “optional” information but then when you opt out, they highlight all of the blank spaces and refuse to submit without them. Not really optional. So, when it comes to design, it’s important to think of the user and efficiency first and then find ways to delight them without confusing them. Test everything. This is the key to having a design that’s both successful and pretty. Featured image via DepositPhotos.

Adelina Benson

Adelina Benson is a UI designer and UI writer at OriginWritings.com and Academicbrits.com. She develops interfaces that customers love and seeks to educate as many people as possible on best UI practices. In her free time, she loves to blog at PhDKingdom.com to help people reach their full potential.

Read Next

15 Best New Fonts, May 2024

In this month’s edition, there are lots of historically-inspired typefaces, more of the growing trend for French…

20 Best New Websites, May 2024

Welcome to May’s compilation of the best sites on the web. This month we’re focused on color for younger humans,…

Exciting New Tools for Designers, May 2024

This year, we’ve seen a wave of groundbreaking apps and tools. AI is reshaping the industry, enhancing productivity,…

Using AI to Predict Design Trends

Design trends evolve at a blistering pace, especially in web design. On multi-month projects, you might work on a…

15 Best New Fonts, April 2024

Just like web design, type design follows trends. And while there’s always room for an exciting outsider, we tend to…

3 Essential Design Trends, May 2024

Integrated navigation elements, interactive typography, and digital overprints are three website design trends making…

How to Write World-Beating Web Content

Writing for the web is different from all other formats. We typically do not read to any real depth on the web; we…

20 Best New Websites, April 2024

Welcome to our sites of the month for April. With some websites, the details make all the difference, while in others,…

Exciting New Tools for Designers, April 2024

Welcome to our April tools collection. There are no practical jokes here, just practical gadgets, services, and apps to…

How Web Designers Can Stay Relevant in the Age of AI

The digital landscape is evolving rapidly. With the advent of AI, every sector is witnessing a revolution, including…

14 Top UX Tools for Designers in 2024

User Experience (UX) is one of the most important fields of design, so it should come as no surprise that there are a…

What Negative Effects Does a Bad Website Design Have On My Business?

Consumer expectations for a responsive, immersive, and visually appealing website experience have never been higher. In…