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5 Signs of Poor User Experience Design6 min read

July 7, 2021 4 min read

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5 Signs of Poor User Experience Design6 min read

When designing a website, one thing you must take into account is user experience. Good user experience will translate to more traffic which will, in turn, help you grow your online presence. Bad user experience, on the other hand, can cost you a lot in terms of clicks, reputation, and even profits. So it’s crucial to make sure your users are satisfied. But how will you know what they really think of your website? You could always ask them, but organizing website testing can be expensive and time-consuming. There’s no guarantee anyone will answer online polls, especially if your website doesn’t get many visitors. Instead, you need to learn to recognize signs of poor user experience design – that way, you’ll be able to tell when something is wrong yourself.

Common causes for poor user experience

A website is simply a must-have for any business today. But merely having a website is not enough – it’s necessary to have a good website. Before you can start figuring out whether your web design is conducive to this, it’s essential to understand what exactly it is that differentiates a good experience from a poor one. Users enjoy:

  • websites that are accessible, fast, and easy to navigate
  • a web design that isn’t overwhelming and doesn’t detract from the content of the page
  • interactive content and a way to personalize their experience

So if your website doesn’t hit the mark on these aspects, it’s highly likely your users won’t enjoy it.

A person working on a laptop.
It’s important to understand what your users are looking for.

The biggest signs of poor user experience design

It can be hard to tell whether a specific web design is causing poor user experience or not; different things work for different websites and audiences. So it is entirely possible to break design rules and still end up with a great website. But as a general rule, you should be worried about your web design if:

#1: It’s overly complex

Overdesigning is a real problem for user experience. Too many images, too many colors, too many widgets, too much text – it all gets very overwhelming very fast. So don’t go overboard and try to put absolutely everything on one website. Instead, choose a more minimalistic design. Focus on a single color palette and use fewer images – this will actually make your website more impactful. If you choose WordPress as your platform, you can actually make this step much easier on yourself: there are many pre-made themes you can choose from and then customize. Just remember to keep yourself in check and focus on a few key features.

#2: It’s hard to navigate

A good website must be useable. Your visitors need to be able to easily locate the content they’re looking for, find related pages, and overall navigate the entire website with ease. Whether they are looking for information about one of your main services or trying to find out how you protect customer data, they shouldn’t have to spend too long clicking around aimlessly – this only causes frustration and leads them to leave your website. So try to organize your website so that every page is available within three clicks. This will be easier if you use navigation bars, side menus, and crumbs.

A person typing on a laptop.
Users like being able to navigate a website easily.

#3: It’s not intuitive

If you designed your own website or have been using the same design for a while now, navigating the interface won’t be challenging – you’re used to it already. But your users don’t have the same advantage of experience. So you want your website to be easy to use even for first-time visitors. They’ll be more likely to come back that way. To ensure that everyone, regardless of their background or technological ability, gets the same experience, you should rely on universal logic when designing your website. Your page titles, URLs, and anchors should all follow the same logic; your web design should be similar enough to other websites that users will know what to expect and where; the links should stand out and be easy to click. Think about how your users might want to use the website and then make it easy for them to do so.

#4: It doesn’t allow for feedback

To create a truly user-friendly website, you need to take the user into account at every step of the design process. This means designing not for yourself but for those who visit your page. Their opinion is what counts most. So it’s vital to allow them to tell you exactly what they do or don’t like about your website, which features it needs to have to be more user-friendly, and what needs fixing or improving. For this reason, you should always include a contact option on your website. Other forms of feedback, such as reviews and ratings, are also helpful.

Speech bubbles on a white background.
Hearing feedback from users is important, so make it easy for them to contact you.

#5: It’s not being used

Few conversions, high abandonment rates, and a low percentage of return users are perhaps the most obvious signs that there’s something wrong with your web design. These metrics indicate that people are not really using your website much, which means that your website is failing at its primary purpose. So if you notice that your website is not performing well and better marketing is not helping, consider a redesign. You’d be surprised how much a better web design can help.

What can you do to improve the user experience?

If you suspect that poor user experience design is costing you customers, don’t waste time – start looking for ways to fix it. You’ll need to test and improve your website’s usability step-by-step. Keep an open mind and be ready to make changes if necessary, no matter how much you like the website yourself. Remember: it’s not about you; it’s about your users and what they want. So try to make the website as friendly to them as possible. This will improve their experience, which directly translates to more traffic and more customer loyalty for you! These benefits are well worth the effort, even if you end up having to redesign completely.

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