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.

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.

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?

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.

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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Protecting Yourself as a Freelancer

When you think about the majority of large organisations, they all invest a fair amount of energy in protecting their interests, for instance, most retailers will have a loss prevention strategy that reduces theft from consumers (and employees) whilst the majority of professional companies will have professional indemnity insurance to protect their interests in the event of a claim being made against them.

Freelancers, on the other hand, tend to have a more amateur paradigm when it comes to protecting themselves which is perfectly reasonable, yet they leave themselves wide open to the same risks many large companies do – such as the risk of a negligence lawsuit being filed for work they’ve undertaken which is not considered up to scratch.

The majority of freelancers tend to learn from their mistakes, in receipt of reasonably tough experiential lessons – yet as with most things in life, prevention is often better than cure, and therefore it pays to have some prophylactic measures in place to protect yourself as a freelancer.

 

  1. PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER

There are a number of risks you must protect your computer from, which is likely the engine room of your entire freelance set-up… risks such as virus attack, data loss, theft and accidental damage – all of which could render you unable to work and/or losing substantial digital assets you’ve poured sweat, blood and tears into creating, to just vanish.

The best antivirus software for windows 7, for instance, is in high dispute whereas protection for Mac computers tends to be a less debated topic on the basis they are known for being more resilient to viruses and the like.

When it comes to protecting your computer, one of the most sensible things you can do is insure it against all risks, yet this won’t usually result in the precious data being recovered, which is often what people value the most.

Therefore, it’s imperative you back-up regularly, and whilst everyone screams this from the rooftops, it’s interesting how many people have not backed up their computer for ages, and kick themselves if their device is taken.

With regard to damage, people always imagine it wouldn’t happen to them, as they are too careful – yet, accidents do happen and sometimes they aren’t even our fault.  It’s therefore important to rely on insurance and regular back-ups to protect your computer, rather than a misplaced faith that nothing can go wrong.

 

  1. PROTECT YOUR HEALTH

The most important aspect of your freelance organisation is not your marketing, your equipment, your service or product – it’s you.  As a freelancer you are at the heart of your organisation and therefore, looking after yourself is imperative to protecting your business.  

The challenge, unlike employment is that if you get sick, you aren’t usually able to make money as most freelancers are trading units of their time in return for money – meaning if they stop trading units of time, they stop receiving money.

Therefore, as a freelancer, it’s much more imperative you look after your health, as there is no safety net to fall back on unlike employment which tends to pay sick pay.

 

  1. PROTECT YOUR SERVICE WITH INSURANCE

You might not feel you need insurance, as a freelancer, yet if you are providing a product or service then it’s a good idea to look into relevant insurance such as public liability and professional indemnity protection.

 

You Can Turn That Festival Romance Into A Long-term Customer Relationship

With summer well underway, we are now officially into festival season. And, you know what that means? It’s time to take your company on the road.

Whether you’re attempting to grow a food brand or extend your fashion reach, festivals offer fantastic marketing opportunities. People travel from all over the country. And, if you manage to secure yourself a spot, you can reach out to them all in one neat place.

Of course, though the crowds are ready-made, it’s down to you to consider how to impress them. And, if you want to gain the full benefits, you’ll also need to think about how you can turn festival customers into loyal followers. Lucky for you, that’s precisely what we’ll be talking about here. So, read on to find out how to make sure that festival romance doesn’t end once you pack up and go home.

 

 

Offer competitive prices

When companies head to festivals, they often charge above the odds. And, undeniably, you can raise your prices a little. But, don’t get carried away. Raise your rates as much as you need without making them extortionate. That way, you’re sure to stick in people’s minds at a reasonable business. That alone could be enough to see those customers coming back down the line.


Give them a way to remember you

Make sure, too, to give festival customers a way to remember you. Business cards are a fantastic idea here. Include your website and twitter handle, then pop these in each customer’s bag. Equally, you could offer branded bags. It might even pay to get something fun, like a small company badge for each customer. That way, there’s a whole load less chance you’ll blend in with the other stalls in their memory.

Make sure you’re one of the last standing

Over the course of a long festival, many companies may start to struggle. Some will run out of stock while others will find stall generators give up the ghost. Slowly, those still operating will reduce. And, that’s when you can really make ripples. As well as showing you to be professional, this again ensures you stand out from the crowd. And, that can keep those customers remembering you for a while to come. So, develop a delivery system which ensures you never run out of stock. Take a spare generator to ensure you don’t lose power. You could even look out for a crane truck for sale which will allow you to tow broken equipment and hide the evidence from passersby. They’ll be left wondering how you’ve managed to stay afloat when so many others have fallen. And, you can reap the rewards of those soaring profits.

 

 

As you can see, anyone who says festival romances don’t last is wrong. All you need to do is put in a little effort, and make sure you’re thinking of the future from the very start. Then, that festival setting could soon become the backdrop for a long-term relationship you’ll both be happy with.  

 

Going Mobile: What Does It Take To Succeed?

Each year, billions of pounds are earned by mobile businesses, with the mobile food truck industry earning over one billion in revenue alone last year. That’s one successful industry. The most popular mobile businesses also include pet grooming, beauty parlors, events planners for parties, wedding and corporate events, builders, plumbers, and electricians. Mobile companies offer a flexible approach to entrepreneurship. They tend to have low startup costs and high success rates. So it’s no wonder they are so popular. Whether you are dreaming of launching a mobile beauty empire or a food truck to beat all others, these tips will point you in the direction of success.

 

Find a niche to fill

 

The chances are that you already have an idea for your mobile business which is great, but it’s vital that before you launch your dream business, you take the time to do your research. It’s vital to determine whether there’s a need for your business idea, as if there’s not, then it could be worth rethinking it. If you want to launch a healthy, wholesome Mexican food van but there’s already one that operates in your area, then it probably isn’t the best idea as that niche has already been filled. To make a living you need a client base, so it’s vital that you select a niche that is yet to be filled in your area. The more unique your business concept, the higher your chances of success.

 

Be selective about your transport

Let’s talk transport. For a mobile business, transport is key, which is why it’s so important to be selective about your transport type. What you need to think about is practicality as well as cost. On the one hand, purchasing a new van or truck means it will come with a warranty and will be in fantastic condition. However, the downside is the high price tag a new van comes with, as well as the cost of converting it. If you opt for a pre-loved van or truck that has already been converted into a food truck that has all the equipment in place, a beauty salon that comes equipped with all the most useful pieces of kit, or a builder’s van complete with racking and shelving from a company like Van Racking Solutions, this will save you money. For a mobile business, your transport is the main part of your venture, so it’s vital that you get it right and make the best transport choice.

 

Get your admin in order

 

Do not start your engine and launch your business until you have got your admin in order. Take the time to research what’s required for a mobile business by law, such as permits, licences, and specialist insurance. For instance, if you are selling food you need to meet certain health and hygiene standards. There are plenty of resources online for determining what licenses, permits, and insurance your business will require to operate legally, so take the time to find out what you need to run your business.

 

Perfect your marketing strategy

Just because your business is a mobile one, that doesn’t mean that marketing isn’t required. Just like with any venture, to make a success of your mobile business it’s vital to perfect your marketing strategy. Part of this is having your business name and contact details visible on your van, as well as on your menus, flyers, and business cards. Utilising social media is also crucial, especially when attending festivals and events to make attendees aware that you are in attendance – for this the event’s hashtag is a crucial tool.

There you have it, a guide to going mobile with your business and making a success of it. Sure, it will take time for your business to build up, like with any venture, but as long as you take note of the tips above, you can ensure that your mobile business is highly successful.