In this post you’ll find a few things you might be doing that could be decreasing the experience of your visitors or costumers.
The way website visitors and app users interact with the website/app can have a huge impact on the odds that they will come back, and even more important, also in the odds that they will become costumers. On this day and time when pretty much everybody embraces simplicity from the ease of use of an app/machine, to the shortness of videos on YouTube, designing your products in such a way that they are easy to use is not longer a choice, but a must if you plan to compete and win. Just like most things in life, when we’re trying to improve something we look first for the things that are holding us back and fix them.
Things that decrease use experience
You might find that by fixing/eliminating the things that hold you back, that there isn’t as much for strategies to make the website/app/product more appealing to the users. Below are a few things that might be holding your website or app back.
1. Too many adds
Ads have been around for ages now, and today, they are probably more visible and widespread than ever before. Their effectiveness is largely the reason why even with most people complaining about them saying how much they don’t work on them, the large and small business still bother to spend millions of dollars creating and displaying ads. The fact that they might be a good source of income, as well as an opportunity to boost the sales and revenue of your business, shouldn’t be enough to clutter the website/app with ads. If user experience is important to you, finding a balance between too many ads and too little is probably the next thing you might want to do. I’m sure that if you spend a large part of your free time surfing the web, that at some point you found yourself in a hard to browse website because of its elevated number of ads.
Ads might boost revenue, but there is a point in which they hurt user experience, and when user experience is hurt potential for money making is greatly reduced. The users of today appreciate a clean interface, and this is why you should too.
Another variant of the “too many ads” problem is over promotion of a product. The income of many websites and YouTube channels comes from the ability to promote products, and getting sales from them. Websites, apps and YouTube channels become popular when they deliver value, and if yours does, you can piggy back on its success to promote products. Just like with adds user experience also decreases when you over do it.
In the end of the day the purpose of any platform which achieved any degree of success and popularity is to deliver value. For the social media for example, the value comes in form of the ability to connect with our loved ones at long distances, and when this value is overcome by an excessive number of ads, or over promotion of products, the experience of the user is hurt.
Something worse than displaying too many ads or over promoting products/services is displaying too many irrelevant ads or promoting too many irrelevant products. The average user today has an aversion to ads and sales already, and this experience turns worse, when the ads and sales are irrelevant to its needs. Now they have to find a way to tune out the things they don’t care about to be able to get to what they do care about. Google is aware of how annoying irrelevant ads can be, so much so that they have algorithms designed to display only the ones that are the most likely to be relevant to their viewers.
2. A cluttered user interface/website
Another thing that can greatly decrease the user experience with your website/app is a cluttered user interface. Having too many functionalities displayed in the same page might give us the impression that the page will be more useful to the user, but the truth is that this is only true for the ones who use all the functionalities of the app or visit all the pages of the website on a regular basis. This is rarely the case, so, instead of trying to maximize the usefulness of a page, the best things one can do to make a specific page more user-friendly is to take advantage of menus. Always try to make the page look as simple as possible.
One reason why you might want to this is due to what goes on our brains when we are faced with complexity of any kind. Our blood glucose reduces. With more complexity we spend more time and energy trying to make sense of what we’re looking at. We are usually averse of the things that make us waste lots of time and energy, and we prefer the things that spend the least possible amount. Think exercising and the mere act of planing our day. The latter might not burning energy through the muscles, but it does so through the brain. Remember, the brain alone consumes about 20% of the energy of the whole body if not more.
Simpler interfaces solve such problems apart from the fact that they just look better, and this is why they are the preference for all of us.
3. Too much complexity or low ease of use
This tip is closely related to the previous one, and the reason why it still deserves its own place is that its still possible to not fall for the first but still do for the later. We are all biased to think that the more complex we make things the more people will appreciate it. Think about the teacher who speaks in fancy language because he thinks that the students understand the material better that way, or the businessman/woman who uses the same fancy language to hide his or hers lack of true knowledge and skill. Making things more complex than they have to be might make us feel like we are smarter than we actually are, but that’s all it does. The best teachers for example, are the ones who are able to break down an idea to its essence with the simplest wording the student can understand.
When it comes to user interface and usability, unnecessary complexity is another thing that can hurt user experience in the same way that unnecessarily complicated wording can hurt the level of understanding of a student. So, #1 keep the simple, and #2 try to make the seemingly complicated as simple as you can, don’t just assume that the user will get it, or know how to do it.
I learned the latter on the first year I learned programming. The teacher emphasized the idea that for example, every action the software performs should display some sort of message, to let the user know what’s going on. The steps the user would have to take to get the application to work as intended should be made so clear that even a child or a person who’s not tech savvy would be able to use the application you just wrote. I Cary those ideas till this day, and you should too whenever you set out to build/design a website/app.
4. Making it difficult to do simple things
When it comes to user experience simplicity and speed of completion are the two words of the game. I can not emphasize enough how websites/apps that are the simplest are preferred over the ones that are not. So, the same idea applies to the idea that we should also make it easy and simple to do the simple/easy. This means that what everybody makes easy to do on their websites/app you should too. This means doing some competitor research to see what everybody else is doing. The best-seller author Grant Cardone once mentioned the fact that although we say that competition is good for the costumer, the same doesn’t apply for the business itself. Competition for a business is what the wild animals in the judge were to our ancestors: a sign that tomorrow is not guaranteed, and that at any time we could stop existing. In the same way that we feel the pressure to lower our prices if the competition is doing it, we should also feel the same pressure when it comes to the user interface of our apps and websites. One example of a business that embraced this idea of making the simple and easy simple and easy to do is amazon with the order placement functionality. If you’ve use amazon.com at least once, you certainly noticed how easy it was after creating an account to purchase a product the moment you’re sure of it.
Popup messages in websites just like ads instigate different feelings to different people. When it comes to ads for example, some people believe that they shouldn’t be used because most people are aware of their desired outcome and for that reason they don’t work. The idea is that they not only don’t work, but also hurt user experience because people don’t like when they feel like they are being manipulated. The ones on the other side of the table argue that if ads didn’t work, be big businesses of today wouldn’t just spend millions of dollars every year on them. Similar argument is applied to popups for both sides. The ones who vote against it believe that popups do nothing but annoying the user/visitor when he/she enters/exits the website/app. The ones who vote for it also argue that if they didn’t work they wouldn’t be so popular.
Just like most things in life as the investor Tai Lopez said once: “its not black and white”. Meaning that we tend to think of things as binary, in the sense that if its not this, then it must be the opposite. If you chose to use popups do so carefully.
6. Slow websites or apps
We live in a time in which technology is better than ever before. We not only get to benefit from the chance to connect with our loved ones from a long distance, but also to learn pretty much anything for free, and at any time of the day. There is also the fact that we also got used to faster and faster software. Businesses like Google can be so obsessed about this aspect of user experience, that they are willing to make their user interface as simple as possible to accomplish just that. The idea is that in essence, the simpler the web page, the faster it loads in both high speed and slow internet.
The website visitor of today is so impatient of slow loading pages that this alone is enough for him/her to go look for what they are looking for somewhere else, increasing what goes by the name of bounce rate. For the search engines this is a sign that the website is not of quality, and quick loading and content rich websites is what google wants to present to its visitors.
When it comes to apps, speed might not be as detrimental as it is for websites, but even there it can still to its damage. Sometimes a certain functionality might be slow in nature that there is no optimization that would make it any better. For these cases, the next best thing is to show any sign of progress to the user. This means adding loading bars and messages from time to time, so the user doesn’t assume that the app is frozen.
This list is by no means the list of all things that may decrease the quality of the user experience with the app or website. This is however, a good starting place on your user experience improvement efforts. This, just like with the mastery of any skill or subject is a timeless effort. You have to look for better ways to improve your user’s experience every single day, and the more you look, the more you find.
It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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