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Website Design Mistakes and Pitfalls that Effect the User Experience

Websites are created for the benefit of your customers, clients or your staff. They’re there to convey information to that group in one form or another so that an aspect of your business such as sales, client advocacy or knowledge is improved. It should therefore make sense that a websites design should in theory be as user friendly as possible.

Unfortunately companies can focus on what information they can gain from their customers and as a result create frustrating obstacles that destroy the user experience. Below are a few ‘Obstacles’ that clients have insisted on integrating into their website design that have resulted in negative feedback.

Pop Ups on Websites

Death by Pop Ups – Pop ups should only be used if the customer is expecting them. Creating obstacles for your customer to get rid of is not the way to a thriving ecommerce site.

I never signed up to that!! – You don’t like it when companies send you letters or emails that you never asked for so why do it to your customers? Fully disclose what the customer is signing up for and give them the option to opt out should they wish to. This will help generate a level of respect and appreciation between business and client. Customers will however lose respect very quickly if decisions are taken out of their hands and they deem you information hungry.

I just want to call them – Some companies choose to hide their contact information in favour for query forms and not so helpful ‘help centres’. Not only will this frustrate customers but you may be missing out on valuable sales opportunities. Even a negative query can be turned around into some more positive. Complainers are going to be your most avid advocates so get them on your side. If your business gets overwhelmed with calls introduce a ticketing system or live chat. Customers would sooner wait on hold or in an online queue than browse through thousands of posts hoping one will answer their questions.

Forms, forms and more forms – Time is everything! If a customer can’t get what they want from your site straight away then they will go elsewhere. Customers use the internet to gather information not to constantly disclose it. Marketing information is great to have but not at the risk of frustrating users by demanding information in return for website content. Use competitions, newsletter signups and social media to engage with the customers that actually want to hear from you. Use signup forms only when necessary or to help keep their information private from other users.

I’m not a robot… Honest – A lot of sites utilise CAPTCHA filters to reduce spamming so they’re a very handy tool to utilise. The only problem is that their purpose is to make it hard for bots to read their text so it can also become difficult for users to read them too. If you have to use them be aware that authentic customers will grow tired of squinting at the screen so make sure the CAPTCHA window is easy enough to read and interpret.

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