The 5 Biggest UX Mistakes Turning Your Users Off via Jeff Bullas & Irina Linnik

Sick of users being disengaged with your website or app? It’s time you took a look at your UX (User Experience) design…

UX design is responsible for delivering a certain experience to the user that will increase the level of satisfaction from using a website or software product. A good UX is appealing, engaging, and takes the user on a frictionless journey, from landing on the page to completing the needed conversion.

There is much more to UX design than creating a few compelling buttons and a fancy layout. A UX designer has to consider the possible user journey and overall, make the work user-centric in order to lead the user through the website (or an app) and make them interact with the intended touchpoints.

Many designers don’t think about the users and focus on their own sense of beauty instead. Below, I’ve collected the top 5 UX mistakes many designers make which results in lost conversions and unhappy users.

Mistake #1: Forgetting about the user’s mental model

mental model is a model in the user’s mind that corresponds to the user’s expectations about the product. It’s basically the user’s expectations based on previous experience, user’s needs, similar products, etc. So if a user tests a product and it doesn’t match their mental model, there will be a problem.

The thing is, many designers focus on their own conceptual model aka the way they see a product, ignoring the possible user’s needs. As a result, there is a mismatch between the two models. While it is not always bad, sometimes, the mismatch is so drastic that it leaves the user completely disappointed in the product.

What every UX designer should do is consider both models when working on the design. The design should be appealing and clear – but, at the same time, it should not appeal only to the designer’s taste. By keeping the design user-centric, a designer can cater to the real needs of the product users.

Mistake #2: Irrelevant content that messes with navigation

Call-to-action (CTA) elements, such as buttons, are important because they motivate users to take the intended action and lead them towards a conversion. But sometimes, CTAs are ineffective because they completely mess up the navigation and prevent the users from the actual website/app navigation.

How many times have you come across a website that immediately closes the screen with a page-size pop-up that demands you to sign up for a newsletter or request a free demo? The worst part of such pop-ups – they tend to have a tiny “exit” icon somewhere on top of the pop-up and the user is often unable to find it.

By blocking the screen with irrelevant visual elements, you interfere with the natural customer journey, take away control from the users and instead, force them to take a certain action. All this leads to is really poor user experience and annoyed and frustrated users.

In this example, there is just too much going on. While the cookies information is OK, the website could at least wait until the users click on the “Got It” button before showing the pop-up that invites someone to join the mailing list. As a result, the user does not even see the page and its content as it is completely blocked by the pop-ups.

Thus, when creating a software product, it is essential to add the CTA visual elements only in the relevant places and after a certain period of time, when the user is acquainted enough with the product.

Mistake #3: Innovation at the cost of usability

When a user visits a certain website, say, an eCommerce store, they expect to see a cart in the upper right corner. That’s just something that every eCommerce website features – a universal UX rule for this type of website.

Nike Cost of Usability Innovation for ux mistakes

Image Source: Nike

Now, if a UX designer decides to be innovative and change the ordinary course of life, it will confuse the user. If a user lands on the eCommerce home page and does not see the cart in the upper right corner, it will be a huge turn-off and even discourage the user from further shopping.

The key thing to remember here – don’t implement innovation to the backbone elements that help the users navigate in a fast and habitual manner.

Mistake #4: The use of carousels

For some reason, carousels are widely popular but in fact, they quite often do not bring any value to a user. Here are the disadvantages of carousels on a website:

  • No real value – they are just an additional piece of information.
  • Take the control away from the user by automatically changing the images.
  • Distract from the content on the page.
  • Encourage the user to scroll down to get to the actual valuable information.

In short, a carousel is just a big image with a bit of a copy on it – so no wonder users prefer to skip it. If you really need to add a carousel to your site, make sure the users can control it (instead of automatic ones) and place a valuable offer on each image (make it clickable!).

Carousel for ux mistakes

Image Source: Shouldiuseacarousel

Mistake #5: Ignoring mobile UX

The number of mobile users worldwide is overwhelming and it keeps growing in a steady manner. This, in turn, causes a major rise in mobile app development.

Though every modern business strives to get an application, not all of these apps make it to the end, meaning, not all of them are used for longer than a few days. The reason for app uninstalling is simple – poor UX that does not help the user navigate the app and use it in an intended manner.

Some of the biggest mobile UX mistakes are:

  • Tiny buttons that are OK on the desktop but cannot be seen on mobile.
  • Huge copy that seems endless on mobile.
  • Poor quality of images.
  • Confusing navigation.

One more key difference between desktop and mobile UX is navigation. A user who browses a desktop version of a site usually has enough time to do so while a mobile user prefers to make as little taps as possible. So it’s important to keep the mobile navigation clear and simple and minimize the number of taps (but do not overdo it and keep the balance).

And don’t forget to test the app on different devices! Every device has a different screen size and resolution so it will impact the app design as well.

Pro tip: Remember performance!

The performance of a website or a mobile application is a factor that impacts the user experience heavily. If the site loads too slowly or a button is not clickable, the user may very likely leave and never come back.

Of course, the performance of a software product is not the responsibility of a UX designer alone. However, because the product fine-tuning happens behind the curtains, it is quite easy to forget about it or miss something important. I recommend paying attention to analytics and looking at the areas that are the most abandoned by users. As well, you can conduct a performance audit to identify the weak points and timely fix the existing issues.

Guest author:Irina Linnik is a digital specialist at SoftTeco – a company that designs custom software products for enterprise clients. She has over 6 years of experience in copywriting and loves creating compelling copy that informs readers about the latest technological trends in an engaging and clear manner.

Category: Uncategorized

Worried about IR35? – Don’t Fret

Any mention of IR35 and you will get a justifiable tsunami of complaints from the freelance and contractor community; nobody likes enforced changes in taxation that affect take-home pay and working practices. And for the client businesses – an external shift that affects ongoing projects and long-term contractor relationships. 

We’ll leave it for others to argue the whys and wherefores for this change, but can we find positives in the situation for the clients and the contractors, however well hidden. 

Large IT projects undertaken by teams of contractors can have a project momentum that is difficult to interrupt. Development agility can be lost as it is not always in the team’s interest to question the direction and purpose of the project. Working with a progressive software development house, like Automation Squared, can introduce a different dynamic to projects. There is an opportunity to reevaluate the objectives and the design, to bring in external influences and sector experience that can introduce innovations in the technical approach and business model for the application.

When Automation Squared approaches a new project, we encourage a step-back from a detailed specification. We want the opportunity to fully understand the motivations behind the project and the critical business outcomes. Our teams include commercialisation specialists as well as software experts, and our experience embraces every tech sector. Such an approach to Design and Discovery creates a dynamic that can draw the best ideas from both the developers and the client’s project leaders. ‘Mutual Challenge’ is a positive way to view the client-developer relationship in creating a truly agile environment and developing truly great software.

For the contractor, we offer a team working environment that encourages innovative and entrepreneurial thinking, as well as technical excellence. Rewards are based, not on avoiding tax, but on achieving real results that deliver commercial gains for our clients — customer and developer satisfaction.

Category: Uncategorized

What is Extended Reality (XR)?

It’s the year 2030, and you have a busy day scheduled. You need to check on your production lines in China, visit Mars during your lunch break, and attend a business meeting in Brazil – all from the comfort of your office in London.

While it might sound far-fetched now, this future might be within our grasp thanks to advancements in Extended Reality (XR). Today’s infographic from Raconteur illustrates the growth of XR technology, and its potential to transform business across industries.

Understanding Extended Reality

To understand Extended Reality (XR), we’ll begin by defining three of its main components: virtual, augmented, and mixed reality.

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) applications use headsets to fully immerse users in a computer-simulated reality. These headsets generate realistic sounds and images, engaging all five senses to create an interactive virtual world.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is not a new reality, but a layer on top of your existing one. Rather than immersing users, AR relies on a device – usually the camera in your phone or tablet – to overlay digital graphics and sounds into a real-world environment. Pokémon Go and Snapchat filters are commonplace examples of this kind of technology.

Mixed Reality

Mixed Reality (MR) lies somewhere in between VR and AR. It blends real and virtual worlds to create complex environments where physical and digital elements can interact in real time. Like AR, it overlays synthetic content in a real-world environment; and like VR, this content is interactive, and users can manipulate the digital objects in their physical space.

With their Spectator View, Microsoft has used MR as a complement to their HoloLens AR product. The Spectator View app offers users a third-party perspective of a HoloLens user and their AR content in real time.

Extended Reality

Extended Reality (XR) is the umbrella term used for VR, AR, and MR, as well as all future realities such technology might bring. XR covers the full spectrum of real and virtual environments.

The use of an umbrella term speaks to the future of XR as a fundamental shift in the way people interact with media. In the future, instead of saying “I’m using AR to attend a business meeting” – it will just be another day at the office. People will interact with the real and virtual worlds in seamless ways, without mention of extended reality’s distinct categories and their underpinning technology.

To use an umbrella term is to recognize the intersection of these technologies, and the many ways they will work together to disrupt our everyday tasks.

XR for Business

Extended reality is changing the landscape in a number of industries. It’s expected to grow eightfold, reaching an estimated market size of more than $209 billion by 2022.

A glance at current use cases shows the potential for XR across industries:

  • Entertainment
    XR brings immersive experiences to the entertainment world, and offers consumers an opportunity to virtually experience live music and sporting events from the comfort of their VR headset. While a majority of market share leans heavily towards entertainment, it’s not the only one gearing up for a virtual expansion.
  • Marketing
    Virtual realities have opened new ways for brands to engage with consumers, offering immersive ways to interact with new products.
  • Training
    Extended reality opens new avenues for training and education. People who work in high-risk conditions – like chemists and pilots – can train in safety from a more conventional classroom setting. Medical students, meanwhile, can get hands-on practice on virtual patients.
  • Real Estate
    Property managers can streamline the rental process by allowing potential tenants to view properties virtually, while architects and interior designers can leverage XR to bring their designs to life.
  • Remote Work
    XR removes distance barriers, allowing remote employees to seamlessly access data from anywhere in the world.

Extended reality is not without its challenges. The spread of data presents a new layer of vulnerability for cyber attacks, while the high cost of implementation is a barrier to entry for many companies.

But even these challenges can’t slow the progress of XR, and the question remains: how will businesses define reality five years from now?

Category: Uncategorized

7 Tips for Using Technology in Employee Training

It is undeniable that technology changed training in more ways than one, mostly for the better. It makes training materials more effective, engaging, and accessible. In this article, we’ll talk about the different ways to embrace technology and incorporate it into employee training.

1. Take Training Online

Traditionally, training is conducted in a classroom set-up and led by an instructor. This is still common practice today, but for a new approach, online training is a good alternative. To do this, you need to use e-learning software. This training program will facilitate online learning. It provides modules that learners can access anytime and anywhere. Often, the lessons are available in bite sizes, making them easy to comprehend.

Ready to take your training in an online platform? Check out True Office Learningand see how they can help.

2. Use Virtual Reality

Fortune 500 companies like Walmart and Boeing are using virtual reality in their training programs. Productivity numbers and retention rates have increased as a result of using virtual reality. More importantly, this makes training more effective and engaging. It is a tool that has revolutionized worker education. 

3. Incorporate Gamification

Like with the use of virtual reality, gamification is another way to make training more engaging. Gamification and game-based learning can create better work environments. Specifically, they improve employee motivation to learn. It enhances the overall learning experience. This is a far cry from traditional training programs that are boring.

4. Use Social Learning Tools

In today’s digital era, using social learning tools is important in training. One of the best ways to do this is to have online forums and interactive chats. This will facilitate interaction among learners. It also helps in building a positive company culture and fosters a better relationship.

5. Provide Online Assessments

There are many ways to evaluate the effectiveness of employee training programs, and one of the best ways to do this is through online assessments. This gauges the strengths and weaknesses of the training. In the same way, it allows real-time feedback regarding the performance of the participants. They will immediately know how they are doing with the training.

6. Embrace Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Both artificial intelligence and machine learning are also transforming employee training programs. It provides a new way to teach employees about their job responsibilities. It is also a great onboarding tool and a great way to deliver cohesive training experiences to new employees. It can be used by the management to coach its human resources.

7. Use Digital Whiteboards

These are like traditional whiteboards, except that they have more functions and features. These are digital spaces that instantly transform into text whatever is written on the board. It also helps to connect employees who are working in remote environments.

Take advantage of innovative technologies to level up your employee training programs. From e-learning software to social learning tools, take advantage of novel approaches to inform and educate your employees.

Category: Business, Learning

Where is the world headed?

We’ll see a dramatic shift of expertise toward the wisdom of the crowd.
We’ll trust diverse opinions over the individual expert. We see this already with easy access to synthesized knowledge. CrowdMed, Wonder, Kaggle, InnoCentive, Pass The Idea, and countless other digital-age crowdsourcing platforms democratize expertise in even the most sophisticated topic areas.

Artificial intelligence will help us make smart decisions.
Robots and intelligent devices will instantly interpret diverse information sources. A deep learning robot will be able to make all sorts of decisions:

  • Find patterns in medical data to help doctors make smart diagnoses
  • Pinpoint fashion trends by scanning what people are wearing at music festivals
  • Recommend city traffic patterns based on air quality and congestion
  • Help teachers customize instruction based on individual students’ learning paces
  • Learn what viewers don’t like about a TV ad that causes them to change the channel

Additionally, connected devices mean that AI can equip us with real-time recommendations incorporating remarkably personal measures and drawing on traditionally human variables (like emotion and desire). For example, AI will be able to intervene before we get a craving for unhealthy food or could help us craft a more persuasive sales pitch. AI is already mimicking us, as evident in Facebook’s AI chatbots, and beating us, as evident in Google’s Go champion. Its expansion will have profound consequences on our personal lives and business growth.Related reading

Traditional education will get more accessible through democratized platforms and more open expertise.
Udemy, Coursera and other massive online learning platforms expand knowledge’s reach. Open educational resources diminish the demand for costly textbooks and further democratize access. Dynamic learning modules adjust based on a student’s expanding skills, giving many the personal attention required to progress. The future will be created by many who are just now getting access to education.

Category: Uncategorized

Tried & Tested Methods To Build a Perfect Landing Page [Infographic] by Kristel

Want to build a perfect landing page for your next campaign? Follow the ultimate landing page building guide mentioned below. This guide comes in the form of an infographic and covers essential landing page factors that wíll help you build a visually pleasing landing page which is optimised for conversions. The landing page tips mentioned here are tried and tested methods. As such, go ahead and check them out and for future reference, download the infographic (for free) and keep it handy!

The Anatomy Of A Perfect Landing Page Infographic

The Anatomy Of A (Perfect) Landing Page [Infographic] by the team at LeadForest

Kristel is a Digital & Social enthusiast. She loves to write about latest trends in Social Media, SEO & Everything Digital.
You may my email kristel@leadforests.com to fetch the gravatar for the post.

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Category: Uncategorized

The Benefits of Building a Progressive Web App

PWAs offer more than an improved user experience. The inherent properties of the web platform means they can also help businesses solve real problems from reach to maintenance.

Easy distribution and discovery

Consider the friction of distributing a native app: it must pass tricky approval rules, submit to mandated revenue sharing, and gain attention in a crowded app stores. And it could all be for nothing: the average number of apps installed per month is 0 (comScore, 2017). For many businesses, it’s a risky path to take

Contrast that with PWA. Being a website, they’re already available and swiftly updated. Users can discover them naturally through organic and paid search, or via shared links on social media, so marketing efforts are combined. They can also enjoy the new features immediately, right in their browser, before choosing to install.

Cross-platform reach

Native apps only work on the platform they’re created for. That means developing separate iOS and Android apps to cover most phones, and more versions if you want to reach desktop users. Full coverage requires significant upfront development, and creates a large maintenance demand. On the other hand, PWAs are built using web technologies, meaning that they’ll naturally work anywhere the web does.

The “progressive” element of PWAs is also important here. It relates to the important concept of progressive enhancement, whereby a baseline experience which works anywhere can be enhanced by taking advantage of more advanced features supported by the browser or device. So a PWA may function as a normal website in older environments, as a performant app on your smartphone, and then have some extra tricks on Windows 10, where PWAs have access to additional system resources and APIs.

Native-like interactions

Through the web app manifest, PWAs can break free of the web browser and be installed on a user’s home screen. This is key to encouraging re-engagement, as 86% of time on mobiles is spent in apps. Not only does the user get a full-screen app experience, but through modern web technologies, they can enjoy most of the same features that have made native-apps so useful.

There are many device integration APIs now available including key capabilities that users have come to expect, including geolocation, camera access, sensor input, payment processing, and VR. Push notifications are a headline feature of PWAs, and retailers could be using them to display flash sale alerts, product restock notices, or abandoned cart prompts.

Faster performance

When 53% of users abandon sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load (DoubleClick, 2016), it’s clear that performance should be at the top of your list for improving retention and conversion. If you need convincing, try Google’s revenue impact calculator to see what your load times are costing.

A PWA benefits from smarter cache control, allowing websites that are already streamlined to become truly turbo-charged. The result: a PWA can be launched from a home screen and ready to use in less than a second, rivalling and often beating native apps. This performance boost is a big deal to user experience, but also to bandwidth usage, and will have a huge benefit in emerging markets which depend on wireless connections.

Offline service

By caching assets and content, it’s also possible for a PWA to continue working offline, or when a poor connection impedes loading, so users no longer have to be roadblocked by a blank grey screen. At the very least, the situation should be handled gracefully using a simple “You’re offline” screen.

But far smarter solutions could be achieved that allow users to carry on with their journey. A PWA for eCommerce might recall a handful of recently viewed products for review, or alternatively some top sellers that summarise what’s available. A retailer with high street stores could also offer key details like opening hours to continue facilitating visits.

* * *

It’s clear that implementing PWA offers a range of wins for businesses. It is easily implemented using current web technologies, and delivers a superior experience for users, which in turn raises satisfaction, encourages engagement, and improves conversion. JH is already including PWA features in projects, and we believe they will become as commonly used as Responsive Web Design.

 

Original Article

 

Category: app, Business, Technology

The ROI of blockchain

Over the last year, there has been an overwhelming amount of excitement around blockchain, but will the technology live up to the hype? From cryptocurrencies to supply chain platforms, the emerging technology that underpins these networks is a powerful tool that should be sensibly evaluated by business leaders to understand whether it is worth the investment. To help executives assess the potential return on investment (ROI) of a blockchain deployment, a Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study was commissioned. In this study, Forrester analysts interviewed real clients to build the framework for a financial analysis of the business benefits, cost savings and risks associated with blockchain.

 

To dive deeper into this subject, Principal Analyst Martha Bennet to sat down with some of the clients featured in the study to discuss their experiences with adoption. During this webcast, these early adopters shared firsthand the challenges they are facing and the benefits they seek from being pioneers in their respective industries. There was amazing response from the audience, but there is never enough time. Here are some questions and answers we didn’t get a chance to dive into:

With so many technologies available in the market, why should our business choose blockchain technology?

Blockchain is a tool that approaches various business needs from an innovative perspective but is not an answer for all business problems. From this angle, the technology should be viewed as a tool to address a specific need and not as a goal in itself. Therefore, it is important to understand the problem your business is trying to solve and consider the value that adopting blockchain could bring to your use case. Blockchain is a technology that adds value by fundamentally enhancing trust between multiple parties. Some of the trust benefits it can bring to a business solution are:

  • Allowing multiple parties to access a single source of truth for transaction data
  • Assuring multiple parties, including regulators, that data is valid and hasn’t been tampered with
  • Improving efficiencies and reducing costs by removing intermediaries in processes between multiple parties

One example is Walmart, which has deployed a blockchain-based supply chain tracking system, taking a business-led approach to solving food traceability.

What can be achieved with blockchain that cannot be achieved with a traditional distributed database?

Blockchain has various advantages over a traditional distributed database. The most significant one is creating trust between parties with an immutable ledger of transactions that has no single point of failure. The distributed and audit-able nature of how blockchain data is managed means that no single party has the power to alter data integrity.

You can also read this article discussing the differences between blockchain and the distributed database, along with the benefits that blockchain provides.

What is the barrier to entry for creating a new blockchain network versus joining existing ones?

There are several factors that business leaders must consider when deciding whether to join an existing blockchain network or create a new one.

When creating a new network from scratch, many considerations such as network participants, development costs, governance rules and business operations must be taken into account. Although benefits are gained by having a stake on these considerations, addressing these challenges can take up time and resources for network founding members.

On the other hand, joining or building on top of an existing network has a much lower barrier to adoption. Many of the networking costs such as setting up governance and operations that are incurred by founding members have already been addressed. This means that on-boarding can be done easily into a network that is already functioning.

Reasonably assessing the ROI that blockchain can bring for your company can be a daunting task. However, by exploring real use cases and learning from pioneers that are already building networks, you can get started on your blockchain journey.

Category: Business