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Top Ten Usability Mistakes of 2014

Usability Mistakes

Many of these problems have persisted over several years, but are still a major usability problem. This is a list of problems we find most annoying – feel free to add your own pet hates. You have most probably met many of them yourself as you surf the web.

1 Pop-Ups on Loading – This is something which is showing up more and more on various sites. Sometimes these pop-ups obscure the content on the web page before it has even finished loading, and many are not easy to bypass. A common reaction is to leave the site in a hurry and avoid future visits. Who enjoys being asked to commit to something before you have any idea what is involved?

2 Slow Loading – This has long been known to deter visitors, yet many websites are still abysmally slow to load. A site which loads reasonably quickly with a fast connection and powerful computer can quickly become too slow for users with slower connections and older equipment. A CDN can help to speed up loading, but it is best to avoid overly complex designs.

3 Lack of User Testing Resulting in Obvious UX Flaws – Better to uncover usability problems up front than struggle to fix a problem once live. User testing is often sadly neglected, and time/cost pressure often means it does not happen. User testing can make such a huge difference to a design that you simply can’t afford to neglect it.

4 Accepting Terms and Conditions – Many web pages require the user to accept various terms and conditions before they can download or access information, but the acceptance message (and error messages) are in fine print and not easy to read. Any such messages should be clear and right next to the “Accept” buttons.

5 Badly-Designed Search Functions – Around 70% of users turn to the search box if they can’t immediately find what they want. Unfortunately, many search boxes expect precise wording before they will return any results. This can be very frustrating for users.

6 Unfriendly and Unwelcoming Pages – Connect emotionally and visitors will feel more comfortable and linger. Most websites focus too much on themselves and what they do, while your visitors are interested in what you can do for them.

7 Overuse of Banners and Sliders – Commonly ignored, as is anything which looks like advertising. Because they are simply ignored, you should prefer something with better impact to get your message across.

8 Confusing Call to Action or Confusing Wording on Buttons – In many cases the wording of a CTA is unclear and uninviting. “Get Your Free Offer Now” is much more likely to convert than “Click Here”. Your CTA is probably the single most important element on your page, and should be tested and perfected.

9 Taking All Visitors to Your Home Page. If visitors have discovered your website using a search engine, take them to the appropriate page: Don’t expect them to retype the search terms (most won’t).

10 Asking for Too Much Information – People dislike entering personal information on web pages. While the information may be useful to you, your visitors will find it intrusive and may abandon their shopping carts. Online shopping sites have increased sales by 30% or more by allowing “Visitor” purchases without the need for registration.

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