Why UX Design Matters: The 5 Biggest User Experience Mistakes & How to Fix Them

User experience is the sum of how a site looks, feels and functions. Good UX is not only important, it’s vital to your success, because today’s users won’t stand for a poor experience on your site. Take, for example, these stats:

  • When a page takes too long to load or links don’t work, between 33-39 percent of users will abandon the site, according to Adobe
  • Mobile users are five times more likely to leave a site if it isn’t optimized for mobile, Google Small Business reports
  • More than eight out of 10 U.S. users told AppDynamics they have deleted or uninstalled an app due to a bad UX

Yes, today’s users are quite unforgiving of your UX transgressions. Brands that don’t prioritize user experience across all platforms risk decreasing traffic and sales.

There is good news, however: Good UX can turn everything around. A 2016 study from Forrester Research found that a better UX design can increase a website’s conversion rates by up to 400 percent.

If your website’s UX needs improvement, here are five of the most common UX problems and how to fix them.

UX mistake No. 1: Slow-loading pages

  • Why it’s bad: Most internet users want function and speed; they expect a page to load within a couple seconds. Anything that interferes with that performance is an instant UX killer.
  • How it affects KPIs and conversions: A study by the Aberdeen Group found that a one-second delay in page-loading time can lower page views by 11 percent, decrease customer satisfaction by 16 percent, and produce 7 percent fewer conversions.
  • How to fix it: Depending on how your site is built, this may require a complete redesign by UX-trained designers. But doing things like optimizing photos, using fewer plug-ins and reducing server response time can make a big difference.

UX mistake No. 2: Using long or complicated form fields

  • Why it’s bad: Form fields can be obstructions. If a form seems invasive, doesn’t perform properly or is too long, you’ll lose many of your users.
  • How it affects KPIs and conversions: Your goal is to collect user information and grow your community of repeat customers; the user’s goal is to accomplish an objective in the simplest, most pleasurable way possible. When these two goals are at odds, your user will opt out, lowering your metrics.
  • How to fix it: Users expect six things from a form: a label, the input fields, actions, help, messages and validation. Be clear about your form’s purpose (if it is to register or log in, label it that way), eliminate unneeded questions and text, make sure that action buttons are obvious, and test your form across all platforms.

UX mistake No. 3: Poor contrast, thin or small fonts

  • Why it’s bad: Thin type fonts are attractive and contemporary, but their legibility may be completely different on desktops vs. smartphone screens. Same with a lack of contrast between backgrounds and typefaces. Remember that not all users have perfect vision; you want to enhance their experiences, not challenge them.
  • How it affects KPIs and conversions: If users can’t read your content – especially your navigational devices – you’ve lost them.
  • How to fix it: Increase the contrast between the colors of your background and your text. And test the legibility of your typefaces across all platforms and devices.

UX mistake No. 4: Relying on clickbait-y sliders & carousels

  • Why it’s bad: Users realize what you’re doing when you put a slideshow into a carousel or image slider to increase your page views or clicks. Often, they will simply skip them altogether. And the users who will click through may not be the users you most value.
  • How it affects KPIs and conversions: “Forcing users to scroll is a major usability issue,” writes Harrison Jones for Search Engine Land. Sliders and carousels are ineffective in targeting user personas, don’t offer the kind of content that helps your keywords get higher rankings, and slow down page-loading speed, all of which will lower metrics and conversions.
  • How to fix it: Simplify. Remove the carousels, use behavioral content to give users more personal experiences, increase the quality of content overall.

UX mistake No. 5: Failing to test across all devices

  • Why it’s bad: Mobile users have surpassed desktop users, StatCounter reports. You risk missing a huge amount of traffic if you don’t test site performance across all devices.
  • How it affects KPIs and conversions: It’s no secret that mobile users don’t convert as easily as desktop users. They want to; the burden lies with brands who haven’t tested and optimized for mobile accordingly. When you aren’t optimized for mobile on all devices, you simply get fewer visitors. People bounce.
  • How to fix it: This requires a three-pronged approach: Test mobile and desktop separately, test Android and iOS separately, and test on real devices, not just simulators.

Get to the heart of good UX

To learn more about how to improve UX to boost conversions, attend one of our Digital Summit conferences, scheduled through midsummer 2018 in big cities across the nation. Each event features acclaimed keynote speakers, great networking opportunities and educational workshops on such topics as mobile marketing, search/SEO, social media, video and content (and, of course, UX). Find a conference near you.