33 Myths And Misconceptions About User Experience
What are the most common myths and misconceptions about user experience on the web? The famous UX Myths website gives 33 of them. While it's directed mainly at designers, we believe that every software owner should take notice of them.
Their eyes scan web pages for relevant keywords, headings, lists, shorter paragraphs – no small talk and long blocks of text allowed. Only if they find the content they are really interested in, will they read it thoroughly.
It isn't true that your users will leave your website if they can't find what they need within 3 clicks. Clicks don't affect user satisfaction – intuitive navigation does. If your website or app persuades users that they'll soon get what they need, they won't think of how many clicks and taps are required. However, for apps that require certain repeated actions, the fewer taps, the better.
Scrolling is natural and it works way better than dividing lengthy content by separate pages. Yet as usual, what's placed at the beginning must grasp the reader and persuade to move forth.
For both websites and mobile apps, design is not decoration; it's the combination of how it works and what it looks like. Great design solves users' problems; it's made for use, for easy and fast one at that.
Creating a website that's accessible on different devices with different screen resolutions requires good planning beforehand, and not some extra features or extra content. Yet making redesigns of a poorly accessible site may take time, although it always pays off.
Accessibility means making content available to users/visitors with different devices. The main requirement of accessibility on the web is separating content (HTML) from visual appearance (CSS). Accessibility in itself doesn't negatively affect the visual part.
On the contrary, too colorful elements can be easily mistaken for ads and avoided. What eyes really look for, are links and text that hints on the needed information. They can and should be emphasized, though.
Pure decoration is not about enhancing UX; it often comes otherwise.
There are certain UI design patterns, and you musn't shun them when approving your design. These patterns have already been tested as for usability and worked for numerous businesses: why wouldn't they work for yours?
Take Apple – they pay huge attention to details, because details make the design in the end. Details, informative messages and calls to action, enhance the experience and influence users' decisions.
Radical redesigns don't increase your conversions. Sometimes people hate radical changes even if they introduce better experience – take the iOS 7 example. On great websites, you will see only minor (yet substantial) improvements that step by step perfect their design.
More choices and features means more complexity, so don't be excessive. Thus it's harder to understand the UI of your product. It has to be as simple as possible, and perform all the required functionality in as few steps as possible. This will earn higher satisfaction.
The overall rule is: text labels next to the icons work for usability. In apps, where the space is limited, it's great to use commonly understood icons, such as save, delete, play, print, etc. Stylish icons will make the look more pleasant to the eye of the user, unless they contradict with usability.
If you set this as a rule, you'll end up with inefficient design. You are biased, you love your product, and you always have lots to learn about your users. Involve outsiders to test your product, and you'll see how their goals and approaches can be different.
Upon first contact with an app or a website, people might be 'guessing' where they'll find what they need. They try to select the first reasonable option that catches their eyes, the quickest and the easiest, which is not necessarily optimal.
One or several clicks are easier than typing. That's why search is used when users are unable to find what they need through navigation – in some cases this may mean it's not good enough.
Say, your homepage has links to pages and articles about your products and services – and it's exactly these pages and articles that people spend most of the time on – and it's these pages that should be optimized in the first place.
The overuse of Flash is evil – not the technology itself. It has improved over time and become SEO-friendly.
Content is king. Content is never secondary. Content is what your website visitors are here for. Design is more of an enhancement that helps people easily access your content.
This is about copying features without thinking how they will work for you, and whether they will at all. The same software and interface doesn't mean you'll receive just as much profits. As for copying design – it's reasonable when you understand why it works for another company and how it's supposed to work for you.
Listen to your customers, but know what to ask. When it comes to an unfamiliar design, people's predictions about their behavior can be confident but delusive. Besides, preferences and tastes tend to change often – yet usability guidelines can cover them. So listen to your designer in the first place.
You don't need plenty of labs, prototypes, and participants to test your website as for usability. It's generally quite enough to test specific tasks with 5 participants.
This is about limiting options in a dropdown list to 7+/-2, which is the number of items a human can hold in the short-term memory. There's no need to hold them, they are visually present on the page and easy to manage.
Once a user finds a way to use your app or website, they'll stick to it. And it's not necessarily the intended way. Collect feedback to be aware of these ways.
Value usability, but don't neglect aesthetics that attract people, make them relaxed and pleased, and evoke positive emotions towards you and your company.
These two notions have different goals. Usability tests show how people use your product by assigning certain tasks, while focus groups assess what people say, their preferences, feelings, feelings, and opinions about certain aspects of your product.
Usability allows to accomplish certain goals. UX is about allowing people to do it in a meaningful and delightful way.
White space works for good readability and prioritization of content and user interface elements. It also makes your product look elegant and harmonious.
We don't always stick to careful analysis of what we do. We use emotions when we make decisions, and that's a fact. Yet for UX design our irrational behavior is predictable, and a good designer will keep you aware of possible complications.
Usability testing and expert opinions tend to show different outcome and work best when combined. You need to have a comprehensive analysis to build a great product.
UX design is not just a UI sketch. It's not just a step or a checkbox in your project. It's an important aspect that affects the whole lifecycle of your project and your business strategy. And after the launch there are constant adjustments and improvements.
Distractions are everywhere, and mobile doesn't have to be necessarily used on-the-go. People use mobile devices at work or at home. Mobile engagement is higher than desktop. Mobile users are more concentrated and result-oriented.
Almost none of the famous products was an overnight success, no matter how it may seem. It takes plenty of time, efforts, feedback and improvements to make a game-changer on the market. But if you are a determined person and you have a great development team by your side, you may go for it – and reach it over time.
Our designers know how to create perfect user experience that follows guidelines, people's actual feelings and positive emotions towards the products we create. Contact us if you need a designer or a consultation regarding your own software product.