There are hundreds of user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design mistakes that can make your website or app unwelcoming, confusing, and even drive users away. These mistakes happen even to the best designers, but you don't have to be one of them.
There are quite a few UI/UX design mistakes that we see designers repeatedly making, whether it's due to trendiness, imbalance in content and display, or something else. There's always a reason. So, here are the most common UI/UX design mistakes you should avoid to improve your design skills.
Our List of UI/UX Mistakes Made by Junior and Senior Designers, Alike
Here are our top mistakes designers tend to make. Use this information to your advantage and avoid making these mistakes in your own projects for an app or website your users will love.
Failing to Test with Real-World Users
One of the most common mistakes that web designers make is that they fail to engage real-world users before designing their websites. Designers often go about their work behind closed doors, using only mock-ups and wireframes to communicate with each other. Without any feedback from real users, they can easily create a product that looks great but doesn't succeed in its intended purpose.
The solution to avoid this common UI/UX design mistake is to use a design methodology that involves including real end-users in the design process. Only then can you be sure you are creating something that people will actually use.
Offering Too Many Choices
As designers, we sometimes make it harder for people to do what they want by giving them too many choices. We all know that the more options you offer someone, the harder it is to choose. And when you have too many choices, your brain gets overloaded and gives up.
To create great mobile app design, limit the number of buttons per item. Users generally only need one choice, sometimes two. You, as the designer, need to understand what the focus is: the focus of the entire page, of the section, and of each item. With that, you can limit the options to move forward. Is it to buy the product (and, secondarily, save it to favorites), or is it to read more about the topic?
Publishing Too Much Text
Clutter can also refer to too much text on one card or section. A minimalistic approach is best when it comes to displaying any type of content. Otherwise, you risk clutter and disrupting consumer intent. Take into account how users browse your content: most likely, on a mobile device. Decluttering your site or app by cleaning up the text, simplifying it, and separating each piece proportionally will significantly increase conversions.
Making Text Hard to Read
This is probably one of the easiest things to get wrong in your design. There are so many elements that can make text difficult to read. When content is difficult to read, difficult to consume, it pushes visitors away. It doesn't matter if it's in your blog posts or product descriptions. No matter where the text lives, it has to be readable.
Choosing a proper link color helps readability greatly—it's such a strain on the eyes when links are neon-colored surrounded by black text and white background. Speaking of strain, text that's far too small is off-putting. Or even wild fonts that stray too far away from the standard can cause strain.
Luckily, all of these are easy to repair. You should get an outside perspective of the content, but also you as the designer should take a step back and ask yourself, "Can I read this?".
Ignoring Content Hierarchy
Hierarchy is what tells users what's on your site or app. Ignoring size, labeling, and color takes its toll on how usable your site is. The easiest solution to correct this common UI/UX design mistake is to use clear jumps in font size to differentiate the role of each piece of text. Some designers use color in addition, which is also a good idea if you don't get too carried away.
Designing without Responsiveness
We live in a world of digital fragmentation. There exists a screen size at every possible ratio and pixel density. Optimizing your site or app for just one or two of those will no longer cut it in the world of good UI/UX design practices.
Responsiveness is scalability in every sense of the term. Designing with this in mind may sound tedious, but it helps the brand you're designing for reach all possible users no matter the device. You can avoid leaving out entire segments of your audience simply by designing with responsiveness in mind. There are so many tools available—even built into app/web platforms—that help you in this stretch of the design phase. Don't ignore it.
Examples of Bad vs. Good UI/UX Design
Many resources online give you real examples of digital product design principles implementation, comparing bad versus good UI/UX design practices, ultimately showing you how to avoid common UI/UX mistakes. Here are three that cover different elements spanning OS, mobile, web, and general design.
Which search bar concept do you think is better: dropdown suggestions or dropdown with autofill? The best UI/UX design practice is to offer autofill and dropdown suggestions. This method allows people to search faster without hindering their search flow.
Which is better: the same or different color? The answer is: divide content types by using different color. The choice and combination of colors in UI design can reinforce the message and create the right mood for the site.
A or B? UI design is important to establish a relationship of trust with the users. Reassuring with simple ‘You won’t be charged yet’ explains to users what happens next and allows them to proceed without fear.
Become a Better Designer by Avoiding These Common UI/UX Design Mistakes
Simple is better. Follow that rule of thumb, and you'll improve your designs in every aspect of your workflow. Functionality is key and shouldn't be masked by overly designing visual elements or even under-designing them. Mirror functions with design, and users will immediately understand what actions to take. This is crucial when considering colors, contrast, fonts, font sizes, forms, buttons, and content hierarchy.
A lot of designers think, "all websites and apps look the same" at some point in their career. Be creative, but also understand that if these design standards are present for a reason. Find a happy medium, and you'll be well on your way to better design.