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Guides & Advice

Common UX issues and how to fix them

By Emily Waddecar / November 9th 2018

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User experience (UX) isn’t just about giving your users a great experience of your site. It’s the difference between a user navigating through your site and making a purchase, or deciding to bounce straight off.

Different sites serve different purposes and cater for different audiences, but they all have one thing in common – they’ve made (or are making) some mistakes that negatively affect the user’s experience. To help make sure you know what to avoid and what to do instead, when it comes to user experience, here are our top five common UX issues and how you can fix them.

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1.   Making a responsive website

I know what you’re thinking… responsive websites were introduced to improve users’ journeys across various devices. So how has this made it into our top 5 UX issues?

Ok, so we are in agreement that a website being responsive means that it is designed to collapse down to fit a mobile-size screen, so it can be displayed on a mobile phone. But this can result in a lot of problems. This is because how the site is displayed and performs on a mobile hasn’t been thought through – it has been designed to be on a large screen (desktop), not a small one (mobile).

FACT: Over 50% of all website traffic is generated through mobile phones.

Responsive websites can cause navigation and header issues when displayed on a mobile, with header information taking up over half of a mobile screen. This is compared with 1/6 of a screen, if a site was designed for mobile.

So how do we tackle this issue? Easy, design mobile first!  

We believe it’s better to have a mobile-first approach, as user experience is so important to get right on a small screen. Business owners should keep in mind the growing popularity of viewing sites on mobiles today, and consider prioritising getting their website right on mobile before desktops.

2.   Slow speed

Speed is the most overlooked, yet, arguably, the most important factor for causing user frustrations and high exit rates online.

If your website is slow, it can dramatically affect the way a user feels and how they navigate. This includes clicking back off a page they’re trying to land on, or losing patience and exiting a site altogether to search elsewhere. Common speed-related issues, which can be terrible for the user’s experience, especially on a mobile, include:

  • The initial loading time of a website – this can put a user off before they have even landed on a page
  • Carousels (where multiple pieces of content occupy a single, coveted space) lagging and content struggling to load while navigating
  • Product or service pages taking time to load, due to the amount of content

These common causes are all fixable. This includes issues concerning back-end performance, like inefficient code, bulky files and excessive plug-ins.

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3.   Low discoverability

Poorly labelled menus, buttons, or other interactive elements all contribute to low findability and low discoverability. In simpler terms, there’s a high chance that if the user can’t find what they’re looking for on your website, they will exit.

So what’s the best way to tackle this issue?

Firstly, take a closer look at how well written the meta and title tags are on a page. If the page isn’t well produced, the user will not be able to recognise that it offers what they’re searching for and, potentially, bounce straight off.

Does the user understand why they have landed on your page?

Consider the way your information is formatted. Does your H1 (main page title) summarise the page contents? If it is a product detail page, are the products clearly labelled with titles and additional descriptive content? All of these considerations count towards the discoverability of your pages.

If the page is well thought out, well designed and well structured, it can help the user to determine what information is necessary to them. More importantly, the page will be built so the user lands on the right page at the start of their journey through SEO.

TIP: The key to solving this key issue is making sure that your SEO department and UX team work in tandem with each other.

4.   Complex registration

Having an overly complex registration process on your site is another common cause of user frustration. Forms are many a users’ worst nightmare. Nothing can be worse for them than having to provide loads of (what is to them) unnecessary information, when all they want to do is use a service or buy a product you offer.

TIP: Consider the way you approach online forms as a user, and the concerns you have when giving your own personal data away

It’s important to only capture information that’s necessary to give you a purchase or a lead. Business owners should ask themselves what is more important:

  • A sale that’s achieved with less data?
  • Or a potentially-abandoned cart due to the user being put off by the amount of data they were asked to provide?

TIP: Users will start to doubt the credibility of a business when unnecessary fields are incorporated into online forms and checkouts. If gathering that information helps the user in the long run, then explain why you need that information.

Remember, it’s always possible to gather more information from a customer through marketing, such as emails, after they’ve made a purchase.

5.   Too many calls to action (CTAs)

Finally, last but by no means least, CTAs.

Consider whether you’re asking users to do too much on one page? A great user journey should be simple and straight forward. Put yourself in the user’s shoes – you can only take one step/action at once, so being overwhelmed with options is not helpful.

TIP: Design your site with one direct goal in mind, which you want users to complete. Having one clear goal is better than having no completed goals at all.

If you feel the need to provide the user with a lot of information, consider whether your website needs additional resources such as an onsite chat – this way users can quickly get answers to their questions. Plus, it adds to your credibility!

So, how can we help you get your UX right?

Do you recognise a handful of the problems we have mentioned above?

Whether you’re looking to increase your enquiries or build up your product sales, considering how a user experiences your website is crucial to meeting your key goal. With so many common issues to be wary of and things not to get wrong, it makes sense to have a team of experts who can get your UX right.

We’d love to explore how our conversion optimisation strategies could deliver results for your business. To arrange a brief telephone conversation with one of our team, call 08447 550 350 or get in touch to find out more.