Several years ago, a new client came to us complaining that their company’s mobile app “weirdly didn’t work for everyone.” For some reason, they explained, the buttons sometimes weren’t registering finger taps. They couldn’t figure out the problem.
We took a look, and the answer was immediately apparent: In an effort to make the app look super sleek, the buttons were extremely thin … so thin, in fact, that a lot of people were just missing the button altogether as they jabbed at it, attempting to connect with those few little pixels.
Even experienced front-end developers find it challenging to create a user interface, or UI, and user experience, or UX, design that actually meets the users’ needs and looks as pleasing as possible. Many people think UI/UX design is just about aesthetics, and though that’s a big part of it, it’s ultimately about creating a seamless, intuitive experience for the user.
From newbies to veterans of the UI/UX scene, everyone falls victim to some of the most common UI/UX fails at some point. Here are the most common mistakes we see in other applications.
1. Poor navigation
If the user can’t get to where they want to go, they’ll eventually just give up. Mistakes like this can be catastrophic for product companies. It should always be easy for a brand-new user to navigate the application quickly and with minimal effort. Confusing or disorganized navigation are the biggest no-nos in UI/UX development. Keep it simple, clear and easy to use.
2. Inconsistent design
Inconsistent design leads to confusion and a lack of trust. Consistent designs means using the same typefaces, colors and layouts throughout the application. Consistency helps users understand the hierarchy of the content, it makes the application easier to use, and it usually increases the visual appeal of the application.
3. Cluttered layout
Too much information is as bad (or worse) than not enough. Prioritize simplicity and clarity. Avoid including too much information on a single page, which makes it overwhelming and difficult to navigate. Simplicity and clarity ensure that users can focus on the most important information.
4. Slow load times
Slow load times mean frustration and a high bounce rate among users. Nowadays, applications are expected to load quickly, and impatient users will simply leave the application. Optimize the application’s images and videos and minimize the number of HTTP requests for a faster and more enjoyable user experience.
5. Lack of accessibility
Don’t forget to consider people who struggle with standard formats, and consider users with disabilities, such as visual impairments or hearing loss. Include features such as alt text for images, the option to increase font size, and closed captions for videos. A good UI/UX is one that all users can use with ease.
6. Trying to be different just for the sake of being different
We always want to encourage creativity, but sometimes designers can go off the deep end in an attempt to think differently. This can certainly produce some exciting designs, but if not done correctly, it can be confusing or frustrating for the user. Not every project needs wildly creative solutions.
UI/UX design is a fascinating field that shapes how we see and interact with the world around us. If you have any further questions or suggestions about the subject, or if you’d like to share some examples of absolutely incredible (or terrible!) UI/UX design, we’d love to hear from you.