Bad UX/UI design is literally everywhere.
Online or offline, I see lots of examples that seem like they were created with the aim of making me sweat while using a product.
For example, in 2018, Shcwepps rebranded the packaging of mineral water in the South African market, and it caused quite a stir among customers.
It was mainly because after the rebranding, the package of the mineral water looked very similar to that of tonic water.
Then, they released a funny and apologetic video on their Twitter account to correct their mistake.
Schweppes’ example was a less technical one, but it is a good example of bad UX.
Or, check out how these products and services are designed as an epitome of user-unfriendliness:
When it comes to digital products, as they are much more complicated than simple everyday goods, bad UX causes much more trouble to the users.
Look how a failure in UX makes it actually impossible to use the product (LOL):
I think it’s a great example to show the importance of UX/UI design.
But UX and UI are not only about usability but directly affect your conversion and churn rates.
When I said trouble, I meant it:
“17% of US online shoppers have abandoned an order in the past quarter solely due to a “too long/complicated checkout process”(source)
And that means $260 billion checkouts in a quarter.
It is not abandoned carts but has extremely high bounce rates if you are not in e-commerce.
And it takes us to one of the most common mistakes in UX/UI design:
#1 Complex navigation
Regardless of the scope of your service, digital products need good navigation panels. It is where you can lead your users safely to their intended destination. Yes, just like a compass showing the universal directions.
As users, we are all used to some forms of navigation panels, so it is important that we feel some familiarity with them when we are using a product. In other words, user expectations matter.
See below how Craiglist, an advertisement website, pays absolutely zero attention to navigation. It is like an Excel sheet in which you need to browse all rows and blocks to find what you need.
Hamburger Menus for Navigation
It is not a good idea to use hamburger menus for navigation anymore. Yes, it was correct that it was popular, and UX designers loved using it but not all the users.
That’s because using a hamburger menu requires so many cognitive steps.
First, you need to find them, click them, and see all the items in the menu just to complete an action.
According to a study, hamburger menus decrease the rate of completing tasks without further research and in a reasonable amount of time.
#2 Sophisticated Language and Information Overload
What you say is a huge part of UX/UI design.
Even if you are a native speaker or a master of legal jargon, your users are not. And you wouldn’t want to perplex them with your rhetoric.
See the example below. You need to use a legal dictionary to understand what it says.
Also, there is a need for the TL;DR paragraph to take action as it is way too long and gives so much unnecessary information.
If you have high–information-density screens to show your user, keep readability in mind and find the optimum way to communicate key information.
So, it is important what your target audience can easily grasp while using your product.
#3 Unresponsive Design
Unresponsive design is not a matter of discussion anymore.
As a user, I find it frustrating to zoom in or out of a screen while I’m on a mobile device. Similarly, I hate scrolling up and down constantly while I’m on my tablet.
The users are using your digital product on various devices with various screen sizes, and the UX design of your product needs to deal with it.
You might think that responsive design is a simple procedure where you play with the overall layout of your product. However, it is not that easy most of the time.
In order to provide a good user experience, each and every element of your UX design should work well on different devices.
That means several usability tests and re-making of design elements again and again.
Also, conditional loading is worth considering, as the responsive design might be slow to be loaded. You can keep your users on the page by utilizing conditional loading in your design.
#4 Clunky Visuality
Even if visual aesthetics seem secondary to UX design, this is one of the biggest design mistakes. The visual language you integrate into your design is more than just a bunch of random choices. And it is called visual hierarchy.
For example, check out how complying with the rules of visual hierarchy changes how users interact with your product. The visual elements are part and parcel of the design project you’re working on.
Also, the contrast between the background color and the written content in your design is as important as the text itself. In the same vein, you should color modal windows and background content differently so that they can be more visible and attention-grabbing.
#5 Non-iterative Design Process
It is the last but not the least mistake most of the UX/UI designers oversee.
Iterative design is a method where you prototype, test, analyze, and refine a product repetitively. In order to understand users’ needs and motivation best way is to analyze their behaviors. Improvements come as a result of this analysis, and it creates a circular mode of product development.
Non-iterative design, on the other hand, is a finite process where the product is static and not developing. It is a real problem in terms of UX as the users stop going for your product once they are convinced it is not user-friendly.
UX/UI design process is full of pitfalls for designers. And they are so tricky that designers fall into them and create aesthetically and technically horrible products in various fields. The most common ones are basically as follows:
- Complex navigation
- Sophisticated Language and Information Overload
- Unresponsive Design
- Clunky Visuality
- Non-iterative Design Process
When you overlook one or several of these pitfalls, your UX/UI design becomes ineffective. If you want to check out more examples of bad UX design, check out this article too.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some things UX designers should not do?
There are lots of things UX designers should refrain from. But some of the biggest mistakes are as follows:
- Paying much more attention either to UX or UI: Choose-your-side kind of approach to product design is fated to be a failure in this context. UX and UI are inseparable parts of the design, and they support each other more than most designers consider.
- Not testing enough: Usability testing allows you to see your mistakes in your design to work on them. You must be open to failures and infinite corrections as a UX designer.
- Not doing research: Good research is the core of good design. In each step of the design process, a UX designer acts on the data they collect from user research revealing users’ needs and motivations. If you fail to do so, it means your design is in line with the user-oriented mindset.
- Following the trends without questioning: It’s true that trends are shortcuts to good UX design, but not all of the time. Trends change fast, and they are like snacks to be consumed fast. However, the main focus of a UX designer should always be on usability and functionality.
What are the most common mistakes in bad UI/UX design?
The summary of the most common mistakes in UI/UX design is like this:
- The imbalance between UI and UX: Aesthetics and functions should go hand in hand.
- Overlooking users’ needs: Considering user feedback and behaviors rocks.
- Design for the sake of trends: Trends don’t bring success all the time. Know your product and users and rely on them.
- Unresponsive design: Design for several screen sizes and mobile devices.
- Too much info: Brevity is the soul of wit. Leave the unnecessary information out of your design and focus on the key info.
What are the typical design errors in user interface design?
- Low contrast (in colors and scales): Contrast provides a visual hierarchy between elements on the page, be it text or pop-up window. It determines what the user sees first and puts an order in the user’s journey. A low level of contrast might perplex the users and affects UX adversely.
- Too much text: There is a limit to what we can comprehend in a certain amount of time. If your product is loaded with text, your users will lose their attention very easily.
- Unresponsive design: Unresponsive design requires users to spend much more time and energy using your product on a mobile device. And it means fewer chances to keep them using it.
- Poor padding and spacing: The blank spots in the overall design are as important as those filled with content. Poor ratios of padding and spacing might distract your users.
- Inconsistency: You can think of the UI of a product as a big canvas, so harmony is a must in that scene. Inconsistent color palettes and UI elements are frustrating.