10 Common UX Design Mistakes To Be Avoided

10 Common UX Design Mistakes To Be Avoided

A number of websites and web apps are being developed every day. Some of these live to tell the tale for longer, while there are those that hardly survive the competition. After a while, this kind of mere existence becomes meaningless, and sooner or later, they have no choice, but to leave. It takes more than just a few creative design ideas for websites and web applications to survive and live forever. If you ask us whether there exists any specific formula to acquire the appeal that your website or app needs to keep going, then we would say – yes, it does exist.

When an effective blend of attractive visual therapy, seamless user experience (UX), and sensible content come together, the magic begins to brew.

Consider the below-given scenario

What if your designs were less appealing and less user-friendly? It means that something went wrong somewhere – so, here is a chance to reconsider and redo your strategies, the next time, to transform and enhance incomplete or fallacious ideas into better and seamless user experiences.

As designers, you know what is best for your project and you make sure that the best UX design practices are implemented. But as humans, we all tend to make mistakes, and it is possible that some important and imperative aspects of the UX design are missed out, as we move forward with the process. All this leads to a not-so-good user experience. Great UX is the result of dedicated observation, ideation, iteration, knowledge, and rigorous testing.

The main point of focus revolves around transforming every bad experience into a better one.

This is the point where we all go wrong. For instance, consider you are planning a tour abroad and you want to take your pet along. The airline doesn’t provide any information with regard to pets accompanying passengers onboard. You tried reaching out to their customer care for support – but the response was feeble on their end. Obviously, this kind of a response made you assume that pets were allowed to board the flight.

In fact, the airline doesn’t permit passengers to carry their pets along. So, as a passenger, you had been expecting a warm response during the check-in, but unfortunately, your pet was not allowed to enter. Would you be taking a flight with the same airlines, again?
Of course, never in this lifetime!

What do you think went wrong? Undoubtedly, it was the user experience that was shaken here. The user or customer lost their trust with the airlines.

The airlines were expecting their users to understand that pets won’t be allowed to board the flight, while the user was assuming the airlines would permit pets onboard. If the airlines had clearly communicated that pets won’t be allowed on board, the confusion could have been avoided. The user would have had the option to choose an airline that would provide the facility for pets to board the flight or would have considered traveling without his/her pet.

Here, the airlines are to be blamed for the mismanaged communication.

Similarly, when we create designs and expect the customer to understand what is expected of them – we are wrong. So, what is the solution here?

Rather than waiting for the user to make assumptions, let us ensure that our products (websites and apps) are self-evident, self-explanatory, and obvious to use. A reference to this has been made by Steve Krug (designer and author) in his book, Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability.

Now, if you think attaching a user guide or manual with the product will do the job, then dear friend, it would not. We are thinking of a way where the user doesn’t have to actually depend on anything or assume what has to be done. Moreover, it is important that we find a solution, which helps the user find out what is expected of him/her. So, forget instruction manuals – and accept the fact that no one is actually going to read these.

Let us keep this one rule in mind – do not create instructions – when we work on our next UX design projects.

Here, we will take you across some of the common UX mistakes that you need to avoid:

Using Dummy Content

Earlier in this article, we had discussed the importance of content in UX designs. In fact, everything over the internet is about content. It could be because a huge percentage of the world’s population depends on the internet for any information that they need. When it comes to designers, we usually are in a hurry to complete our design, and ready to make any compromises to ensure that the design is delivered on time. Ultimately, we end up using the dummy content or ‘lorem ipsum’ in our designs.

Most of us have been there at least once. When you take your design mockups to your clients with the ‘Lorem Ipsum’ content, it actually distracts them. If they are seeing it for the first time, then it would generate a lot of questions, such as whether the site would be filled with an unknown script or is this a foreign language.

Needless to say, it even generates confusions and misunderstanding between the designer, developer, content writers or copy-editors. Sometimes, if you are not too careful and in a hurry, some of this dummy content would be even pushed live (because no one noticed it was there).

Experts are of the opinion that before you set out to decide your design, it is ideal to plan the content or have the content copy ready. If the design comes before content, you would be writing to enhance the design, which is not our aim – the end product is expected to provide information to the end users and when the copy is written to fit into the design, we are deviating from our goals.

This deviation happens because the writer mainly focuses on filling the spaces wherever ‘Lorem Ipsum’ has been inserted, and while they are busy filling these spaces, they might miss out to add important information or end up cramping a lot of unnecessary information.


As we discussed, implementing the real copy of content would be the key to avoiding this mistake. Ensure that you start planning the content way before the commencement of your design. A lot of work goes into this – you would have to research your domain, master the terminologies used in that specific domain, and create a temporary copy, upon which the strategies and the pitch of your page would focus on.

If you have doubts about your content copy, you can always seek help from professional writers. Also, rather than using temporary content, if you could use the real copy, it would be further useful as your design moves through the testing phase. The users can actually help you review and find out the user pain points that have been left out if your design contains the real content copy in the test phase.

Whom do we trust to test our design?

As we discussed in the preceding point, we have to get users to test our design. But, the question is whom do we get to test our design? Many a time, it happens that we are obsessed with choosing the ideal users for helping us in the testing phase of our designs. This is where you ought to have a rethought the next time you actually choose a specific category of users to test your product.

In fact, when you read through the below-listed explanations you would understand why it is recommended not to go for ‘ideal users’ in the test phase:

There is no such thing as ‘experts’ when it comes to testing a new product – everyone is equally a fresher here and has no idea of what they are going to deal with. Your site should be welcome to all – which means that your terminology should be easy to understand. Do not use phrases or terms, which would require the reader to depend on their dictionary for help.

However, there are scenarios wherein you would have no choice, but to seek out for a specific set of ideal users. For instance, if its women’s clothing – you are left with no choice, but to call out to the women users.

This applies to a specific group of users that share a common interest or requirement. For example, you are planning to launch a diet app, which is intended to help people lose weight within six months. So, your target should be those people who are looking for ways to lose weight soon without sweating but with changes in their diet plan.

Although, this can also be tested on those people who would like to eat healthy food.


Ensure that your websites are intuitive and easy to use – as we discussed, previously. To test simple websites, you do not need to fetch some expert person who has been dealing with rocket science – all you need is someone who can relate to everything on your website.

Structuring the information

Now, it is time to think about how you would organize the information on your app or website. If you do not have your information organized properly, then, undoubtedly, your users would struggle to try to find out what they want.

Any content that lacks a proper structure cannot be reached with ease, which ultimately renders the product useless. This means the user would reach a dead end while navigating through the app or website, which is not what you want. We want to give our users exactly what they want – a solution to their pain points. But, what use is a content that has not been structured well? Do you think these users would be ready to invest time to read through all the content to find out whether the solution actually exists within your copy or not?


This can be easily handled – strategize a skeleton for your product – prioritize the vital features and incorporate the main navigation. Now, you can breathe life into your product’s features. Ensure that the navigation is clear and easy enough to help your users find whatever they want. At any specific point, the users should be clear as to what their actions are expected to be. Check for similar information and try to structure these within the same group. In fact, clearly showcased information hierarchy will determine how your content will help the people.

Eye-tracking data: how useful is it?

There are a lot of myths and realities revolving around UX design best practices. Some UX designers believe that the eye-tracking data has a great role to play in helping designers to understand where exactly their people are looking at along with the time period for which their gaze was fixed on a particular point.

Currently, eye-tracking data, apart from heat maps, is chosen as one of the vital parameters for structuring content, positioning components, and all other factors of the design revolve around it. In fact, up to some extent, the eye-tracking data might be helpful, but we have no actual guarantee that it works. Maybe, the eye-tracking data would give you insights on where your people looked at, but how do you know whether they were interested in what they saw or where they just scurrying through it.

Researchers say that eye tracking is limited to central vision, and as per certain reports, the peripheral vision should also be taken into consideration just like the central vision, in terms of eye tracking.


Look beyond the obvious – don’t just limit your options to eye-tracking data, because design decisions are critical to your website’s survival. So it is important that you take into account not only visual testing results, but the auditory signals as well.

What about the layouts?

Of course, you would have great plans for your website. You love what you do and you will always have a set of solutions that you know would work best for your web project. However, the truth is that not everything works as we want them to. Sometimes, even the best of your strategies tend to fail. Though you were very sure of the fact that your layout is best suited your platform – but, in the end, the layout or even your content would leave you frustrated as they do not live upto your expectations, and fail to accomplish the intended goals.


You could always start with testing. Get your users to test your layouts – keep your eyes and ears open to how they respond to your content. Track their behavioral patterns. Apply techniques, such as A/B testing to find out whether the layout and the content has managed to create the expected impact on your people.

Forms: short or long?

The truth about the human brain is that though it is capable of picking up a lot of signals at the same time, we cannot be sure about what registers, what creates an impact, and what stays in there. Researches say that the human brain is capable of remembering or processing not less than four things simultaneously.

The truth is that shorter forms are found to have more participation from users.

Of course, there are certain domains that need to implement longer forms, as they might want to gather more information than others. In that case, strategize the information into various pages or steps, whichever is easier to make it visually appealing.


It is ideal to choose the shorter forms, unless you have a lot of information to be captured from your users.

Is your information relevant?

We have already discussed the importance of organizing information. This comes as a continuation of the same. You might have a lot of information on your site, and sometimes, most of it might not be useful to your readers. It is ideal to retain only the information that is relevant to your users.

It is important to keep in mind that every time, a user comes to your site they are moving through a different phase of their user journey. Not all users are looking for the same information. They want only a particular piece of information to serve a specific purpose, in which case, the remaining is useless to them.


The only solution is to give your users exactly the information that they are seeking. Depending on your domain, create user journeys for each scenario in which a user would reach out to you. Think of all the information that they might want in a particular phase of their user journey and find out ways to organize this information appropriately. Think of users in their physical form, think from the perspective of what they might be trying to do, think what they could have been possibly doing before this, and do not forget to think of what they could be planning to do right after this.

The role of pop-ups

Pop-ups are viewed as a tool that has an important role in lead generation to a great extent. This could be one of the reasons that most marketers want it. We cannot deny the fact that pop-ups are vital in helping to increase blog subscriptions and generating better lead volumes.

But, sometime back, Google made it clear that pages with pop-ups would have their search engine rankings affected. So any violators who would actually hide their sites’ content under the shelter of pop-ups would be scrutinized by Google. And over time, Google ensured that all violators and trespassers be penalized if they do not adhere to Google’s policies.

In fact, a better UX is the goal behind Google’s warning – it would help in improving mobile search experience, as users can now access content with ease (without any of those pop-ups interfering or creating unnecessary blocks).

Let us find out which pop-ups need to be removed at the earliest:
Any popup that appears when the user lands on to a page or as the user tries to interact with the page would hide or conceal the main content, and needs to be cleared right away. Similarly, there are those standalone pop-ups that appears before the user tries to access the main content.


Ensure that your site is in line with Google’s guidelines – you will be saved, and ultimately, your website will move in the direction of offering your people with a better user experience.

How important are target audiences?

Have you noticed that when you search for certain information, all you find is general information, and most of it is something that you know well already. As we have already discussed, if this information hasn’t been properly organized, then the users have a hard time struggling to find out what exactly they need. Finally, they end up reading through all the information just to find out that whatever they were looking for does not exist here.

Sometimes, the designers happen to create content for themselves rather than for the reader, who is also the end user. We have already seen how important it is to organize relevant information on your website. Similarly, ensuring that this information is being read by the target audiences is equally important.


You can create personas – in fact, these personas represent your users. It would serve as a guidance to whatever content you curate. This would require some research – you would need to find out and have a clear idea of who your users are, their behaviors, needs, and expectations. You can zero your research to similar patterns or features. On the basis of these features, you can generate groups and then create realistic personas from these groups, which exhibit human emotions.

Requesting user feedback

So, finally we have our website or app all set and ready. Good job!

Have you already hit the send button on your email to all the newly signed users, requesting their valuable feedbacks? No, you are not doing it now.

Of course, feedback matters. But, it can wait. Let us not generate negative reviews when we were expecting positive reviews for our newly launched product. When is the right time to seek feedback?

Wait, sit back, and relax. Give your users some time before they can actually decide the quality of your product. Sending emails while they are in the process of working on your product could be harmful, as it could be irritating for them if something went wrong and in a fit of rage, they might end up sending a negative review.


Let us give our users all the time they need to learn, interact and finally use this product for their needs, before they can actually decide it has been useful to them or not.

These days, most websites or web apps tend to be engaging. Of course, visually enthralling apps or websites are a feast to the eyes. But, if the user is in a hurry, trapping them with the visual elements would do no good to your site.

So, be careful and wise when you make choices and decisions of the dos and don’ts for your site.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please comment in the box below. We would love to hear from you.

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