It’s a competitive era either we talk about apps or websites, and the reason may be because they are being developed every day. But what matters the most is the way it stands out as well as stays for the long term. And, it somehow relies on the user experience (UX) design. Many people don't understand the role of UX in the success or failure of both. Because most of all recognize the value of mobile app design as a central driver for long-term success, but often don’t realize how they can use UX design to open new lines of business through mobile and create a competitive advantage.
Even some people confuse UX with user interface (UI) design, not knowing that there’s much more to UX than visuals. And, there is much more to it. A UX Designer considers the who, why, what, and how of mobile product use. Because, it is critically important to ensure the product’s character and content matter translates through technology to offer a seamless, fluid, and meaningful experience in mobile app development. Else, the product will fail to reach the objectives but also fail to become a successful product in all areas of a mobile business structure.
Hence it is worth noting what are the mistakes a UX designer can avoid and how to use the principles of design thinking to keep UX considerations at the forefront of the entire product lifecycle.
1. Designing for Yourself and Not the User
There are some jobs which can’t be done only for pleasing yourself. Well, this is one of them. One can’t just make a UX design based on his/her concept or idea. It should be a combined decision like whole development teams form some strong opinions about a product.
A good UX designer needs to separate their personal preferences from user preferences. Before designing any product, they need to understand that they are designing for a set of users with specific wants and needs. Hence, all they need is to follow a user-centric design approach throughout the entire development process so that the app not only evolves to fit the needs of the people creating it.
2. Prioritizing Aesthetics Over Functionality or Vice Versa
You can't just overdose the functionality on a product or also can't overdose the creativity on a product. For a better website or a better outcome of your hard work, you need to make sure that your website strikes a perfect balance between functionality and creativity. In recent years, a lot has been said or done about personalizing your website with creative graphics, authentic photos, as well as interactive design elements.
Even though the aesthetic aspects are crucial for UX, they must not surpass the functionality of your website because the users may want creativity, but they also want to navigate your site easily. They never welcome complexity for the sake of creativity.
On the other hand, no one will accept your website prioritizing functionality on the point of compromising on creativity because your site may bore users and compel them to search elsewhere if they find nothing but function.
In all, with no excitement or spark, pure functionality will make your brand easily forgettable. And, we believe it is the exact opposite of what you want. So, as a complete package, your website should be aesthetically pleasing, visually captivating, unique, and creative. This is the only way to achieve brand loyalty and stand out to customers.
3. Seeing UX as One Person’s Responsibility
This is one of the misconceptions almost everyone is following. Yes, people just let the only person making decisions about the UX design of a product. But somehow here they are mistaking because UX isn’t just the responsibility of an individual designer or one department. But the whole product team must get involved in the mobile app design process. Also, it could be said that everyone involved in the project must understand the common goal and product vision, which they deliver collectively.
Moreover, it is necessary to ideate it with every stakeholder during product definition. While simultaneously meeting specific project goals, making design decisions collectively helps ensure the final product closely resembles the company’s ideas and concepts. For several key reasons, collectively owning a product’s UX design is essential:
i. Stakeholders can assist in collecting all the info about the project’s strategic direction.
ii. Moreover, including stakeholders, while deciding design can help ensure research makes the most impact.
iii. Taking decisions with the right people builds support and also secures funding for the time and resources for each basic design iteration.
iv. Also, you don't have to perform the same research twice.
Besides all, the people involved should ideally create a cross-disciplinary team with a variety of specializations when it comes to UX design. Also, to create meaningful collaborations, each team member needs to think outside of their discipline. Usually, people with specific information about particular job functions will resolve problems on their level of experience.
Well, for IT, engineering, marketing, product management, and sales departments, it’s very easy to make decisions and view challenges through a departmental lens. Involving everyone – upper management, marketing, product managers, developers, clients, and designers – will help examine problems in greater detail from several backgrounds and perspectives. More importantly, with more holistically framed solutions, cross-disciplinary collaboration helps replace self-referential design decisions.
4. Ignoring Responsive Design
Opting for a responsive design
is not only a trend going on within the broader field of web design. As a fact, it is an undeniable key to maintaining a successful website in today’s era. There are several sites we encounter that do not fully adapt in a proper way that makes the best use out of the available screen real estate. Well, this is the major reason why responsive web design is still being mentioned in this list.
For people who don't have any idea about the responsive web design, these designs enable your website to quickly adapt and change according to the device it is being used on. As more and more people are now accessing their websites via mobile devices instead of desktops, for them, it is necessary to make sure that your site looks great across all screen sizes.
Apart from that, Responsive design also enables a user to enjoy a seamless UX even when switching between devices. A fact-based on a Google study stats that 90% of people move between devices to achieve a goal. So, if you do not have a responsive website, you could be losing this enormous crowd.
An optimal UX can be created by a responsive web design only across multiple devices. So, building your website with a responsive layout could make it possible for your users to enjoy their experiences when accessing your site from a tablet or cellphone.
So, why to isolate millions of users only with a simple mistake. Yes, try redesigning your website to prioritize responsiveness for the optimal user experience.
5. Following Your Competition Too Closely
People tend to think that if the design or concept worked for someone else, then they can also take the idea from it. Well, it is a big no because what works for one company will not necessarily work for another. So, rather than imitating your competition, learn from them, and make something from scratch. Yes, to establish a competitive edge, combine your learnings with innovation because you aren’t providing anything new for your users when you follow suit to your competition.
Also, there is a possible scenario that trends that work for other companies may end up outdating your app down the road. Still, there are some sources of inspiration you can draw from. Try to analyze what trends are working, then apply the same insight to suit your user and business needs; you can upgrade, customize, and grow from this foundation. Along with all outcomes, research will make for a stronger experience overall.
6. Jumping on Every Bandwagon
This is the era of trends, and they will come and go. Yes, they always have, and they always will. A new top trends list will drop and encourage you to rethink your strategy just when you think you have conquered UX. So, you need to take each trend with a grain of salt as a website owner. And, most importantly, do not blindly choose a new UX trend as that is what everyone seems to be doing nowadays. Assess whether the change is right for your brand to take the time to review your key performance indicators, and weigh the risk vs. reward.
As we all know, several UX trends have roots in real data and consumer metrics for the year. Others, though, are blind forecasts bloggers post to create a buzz. To keep your website on the right track, knowing how to tell the difference is pivotal. Try adding high-quality infographics and images, for instance, is a trend with proven statistics to maintain its effectiveness in UX.
However, keeping up with the trends can go wrong sometimes and could be a waste of your time (and money) as other trends might not have the data to back them up. So, to make sure it is the right move for your website, research about a trend carefully.
7. Forgetting Content
It is an undeniable fact that Content is king, even in 2019 and as speculated for any foreseeable future. In fact, in the last few years, as users search for credible, reliable information online, the content has grown in importance. So, do not undervalue the importance of your content at most. For optimal UX, your website surely needs high quality, authoritative content from experts. So, for best UX, you can follow a few fundamental content guidelines, for example:
i. Usage of relevant keywords over all your content
ii. Give attention to quality
iii. Polish grammar and spelling
iv. Consistently post new blogs
v. To keep the content fresh and relevant, keep revising it
vi. Guide users via the sales funnel by content
vii. To boost conversions, create landing pages
Again, it is very important to think that the focus of your content should be on the crowd, but not a search engine. Also, make sure that one uses your brand’s voice and tone while writing the content. It must offer interesting, valuable information to your users. Include a Contact Us page, an About Us page, and one detailing your services for sure. Moreover, to make sure your page ranks high on the SERP, follow SEO
guidelines; at the same time, link to credible websites, sprinkle in keywords, and cite your sources also.
8. Confusing UI with UX
As we have already mentioned above, several people get confused in UX & UI. But they are different. Continually, Mobile app design concepts are evolving. Not only the nature of the work changing with technology but also the ways people describe it is changing.
It’s almost impracticable to extricate the UX from the UI and vice versa. Yes, without considering the other, you can’t work on one design concept. UX design is so natural and subtle that it seems effortless and obvious for the user. And, the amount of analysis required is invisible to the end-user. It is the structure or the foundation of the app.
On the other hand, UI design comprises of compelling and aesthetically pleasing interfaces with which the user interacts. Knowing how and when to utilize both design methods is important to the success of your product.
Well, the ultimate aim of UI designers is to create intuitive and aesthetic interfaces. To lead more conversions, it must generate trust.
Now with this guide, you can keep all these mistakes in mind as a checklist of things to avoid while designing, and soon you may find that you already dominate these design principles and don’t need that list in front of you anymore.
I hope this guide helps you to create more polished designs and become useful to you.