We exposed 18 UX myths on the behalf of User Experience Interactivity using various Usability tools and User survey. We not even write the problems but also provide solutions so that we can help Tech startups to make a successful product. 

People go word-by-word… Actually, they are experts with scanning.

StoryTelling Design

Image Credit – 

Nobody has the time to read each and everything on the web. Users generally become more particular when something captures their attention or is of great interest to them. Always going for the shortcuts, this is what they follow here as well. Customers usually skim the important text and scan the areas which can prove beneficial to them.

They are on the lookout for words, sentences, headings or paragraphs that provides them the information and fulfill their needs. They skip the irrelevant stuff as it unnecessarily wastes their time and adds to the burden of the search. The content which is cluttered and is of no relevance, such as unwanted promotions or long text areas should be avoided as these are ignored by the audience.

The skimming and scanning methods also further influence the understanding to a great extent. People are far away from reading and will find a smooth way to go about it. The placement should be done in a manner that multiplies readability.

Solution – A visual story is an interactive presentation that moves seamlessly between media known as a form of Story Telling. It is a mix blend of best images/videos – without the overflow of text. It captures your user’s attention and gives the feel of reading. It’s kind of new style of portraying the digital content.

Your client gets the benefits with more traffic, more reader engagement, and more social sharing.

More Examples – http://story.glass/uavhttp://story.glass/smart-home

Experts don’t need testing… Reconsider.

Usability Testing

Everything from design to development is superb then why is testing required? Do you think the same? Well, then you are thinking on the wrong lines. Be it an amateur or an expert, getting user feedback and response through testing is a must.

No matter how many times you have reviewed the product, perfected the process, still, you cannot do without testing. It is the only way to determine the usability. As the user’s behavior cannot be predicted beforehand, the tests will certainly reveal facts which were not noticed earlier.

The best way to determine the usability of a product is to act upon the reviews given by the UX experts as well as study the results of the tests so that both the point of views can yield amazing user experience. Testing can prove beneficial to determine how the users will handle the task at hand. Also, the uncertainty in their response can pave the sure shot path for the success of the product later.

Obtaining feedback from the users can bring forth various issues and clearly determine the problems actually faced by them. This can also highlight how the users react emotionally and perceive the purpose, thereby stating the standing in the market based on competitive terms. Such data are fruitful in taking correct decisions so as to raise the bar in the usability figures.

So, having said that, there is no substitute for UX testing and must be done to be familiar with the usability standards. Solution: If you are following a UX process than your product success will increase.

Try to make a quick pilot project and do the Usability testing and try to find some online Usability tool Like – Proper use the Google Analytics and Lead Conversion by Google Tag Manager. You can use HeatMap and EyeBall tracking tool for usability testing.

Mobiles-in, minds-off… No, mind it!

Responsive Mobile Friendly

Let us admit-mobile phones have become our newly found love and why not, with competent smartphones hitting the market now and then, we have somewhat become hooked to our handsets. From calls to messages to features to apps, we have lots to keep our mind on the go.

Life is going at a fast pace, and so are we. We cannot contain one thing and one thing cannot contain. Mobiles can certainly not make our minds immobile. Technology as advanced as mobiles cannot master the art of keeping our brains wholly solely at one place. It is bound to wander and get distracted.

Just as the case with other day-to-day activities where we are partially attentive. So, how can we blame smartphones for causing a hole in our attention balloon? A fair argument stands that users are distracted by the calls and messages they receive, but are they even focused while studying or watching TV.

Frame of thoughts is shuffled rapidly in any task we perform as that is the way we humans have been wired. Distractions are a part and parcel as we hop from one thing to the other.

So, mobile is not the only culprit. Sources are many, but the cause is one- We, human beings. Solution- Start thinking about the mobile-friendly website, if it’s not. Because Google says that 60% traffic, generate from mobiles and Google started penalizing those websites which are not mobile friendly. Read more about Responsive Website Design.

Matter of 3 clicks… No, extras are good

Usability Matters

3 Clicks are the key to great usability. The usability tests have already proved this belief wrong. It is a myth that 3 clicks are all that is required to retain the customers on the website.

What actually happens is that users unless and until get what they want do not leave the website. 3 clicks do not guarantee satisfaction by any means and neither does it affect the success rate. In fact, the lesser number of clicks less will be the satisfaction too, as the users will not be happy with the results of their search.

Having fewer clicks will limit them, which they certainly don’t want.

Solution- However, whatever be the number of clicks, information should be easily accessed by the users and should be navigated smoothly. Users are not worried about the clicks.

All they want is a great experience through the product. People can do anything to explore the information they are on the lookout for and do not get annoyed easily if they have to delve in deeper and go for few extra clicks.

Additionally, more clicks will improve their search results and they will find things better.

Graphics brings to notice… Often skipped altogether.

User Experience

It is often thought that if a page is dense with graphics and if it has good flashy elements, it will create more visibility. Actually the reverse is true.

More of links and written text will work in the favor of the consumers as they will get what they want straightforwardly instead of being deviated by the pictures.

But, having said that, graphics can be a great way to create a contrast and can be used for emphasis. It can make a web design more alive.

If graphics give an impression of an ad then people might skip them totally thinking that they are a waste of time. Graphics thus can limit visibility as they are perceived as a banner for promotion and can completely blind the user under the impression of a marketing strategy.

So, graphics in such case can render the entire content useless and even the links are skipped by the members.

Design goes with looks… Much more in scope

Lead Conversion

Web design is not just ornamenting the website. It goes far and beyond. Design covers the usage of the product, where it stands and what all it contains. Looks are a part, but there is definitely more to it.

Apart from the visual route, it also signifies the functions which cater to the problems effectively. The Design is to express the users’ viewpoint and understanding.

Besides the attractive visual elements like fonts, colors, space, etc. there are other components like user research, prototyping and usability testing which are equally important.

Yes, it tells about the looks and feels, but it depicts a great deal about the usage and work.

Solution- A design which is well drafted generally blends and is a great package in itself. Only when the planning is poor is when the flaws are noticed. Very much driven by purpose, it targets the problem until the best solution is found.

Designs which handle the worst and perform are not only pleasing but working. I mean Lead Conversion Optimized web design is more trending today web sphere!

Stock photos are an add-on… It matters, hardly!

Lead Conversion

Glamour can never enhance usability. Such is the case with stock photos. Although it is believed that these create a greater impact and make the website stand out. But that is a myth.

Stock photos do not hold absolute information and are not of much use to the audience as they evaluate graphics or images based on how purposeful it is.

Users feel that they are just a trap and do not highlight anything consequential, so, they tend to ignore it completely. Eventually, they even become annoyed by the very sight of it.

Decorating the website with useless items will make the page shallow and take away the actual purpose. It will certainly affect usability as well.

Such kinds of irrelevant material create a visual block and even fail to direct the attention to the actual content. A website should communicate visually not harm it. Let images not be a burden, but an attraction.

Solution- Hire a professional photographer and click the real brand pics so that user can get more engaged with it and help you to convert traffic into business leads.

Who scrolls? Everybody does.

Scrolling Pages

Earlier the people weren’t comfortable to scroll. But now it is something that is pretty normal and everyone does it to get an overview of the page.

In case the page is lengthy or the article has a good word count, it is better to scroll. Moreover, it enhances usability as against dividing the text to numerous screens or pages.

Do not clutter the homepage by including everything there. State the items that are important; do not fit in every single piece of detail. People scroll to see what the entire page contains and then decide where to stop to take the desired action.

Solution- Effective strategies should be used and the page must be well optimized to keep the users interested in the content across the website.

Special attention for the content above the fold must be given as that is where the signal for the information starts. It sets the direction for further reading and gives an idea whether the page is worth the time or not.

Regardless of the length, audience scrolls the page and that too in the manner that suits them irrespective of the ways they are guided to do so.

So, in order to make the whole experience of scrolling worthwhile it is important that the design principles are followed while designing the page. Scrolling has indeed become a part of the user behavior and they readily relate to it now.

Let it be new… Old holds a promise

User Friendly Design

Designers generally go for the existing patterns of design as these are the tried-and-tested ones. The interface styles need not always be original and can go for the convention as their response is already well known.

They also go well with the audience. Existing styles have passed the tests of usability and are foolproof in their outcomes. Already being in the zone, the users recognize them well and need not spend time learning the functions involved therein.

Solution- Different is good but standard is better as it gives a hassle free working and a valuable experience. In case you stand fixed with the idea of new design, then make it certain that it brings forth a guaranteed solution that will serve the best.

It is always good to have an inspiration as it can produce great results that may yield high profits. Better not be stuck in being original as going for the set can surely bind the user to the site.

Homepage is all that matters… Wrong, let’s go beyond.

Homepage design

A Homepage is the face of the website and face is where it all depends. Unfortunately, this is incorrect as the users have become more aware of the times.

Their browsing patterns and searching style have evolved considerably. Their behavior as regards with the website has changed as they are not only focused on the homepage but look beyond it.

In fact, the majority of the websites has witnessed a downfall in their homepage views. People are fond of other subpages and articles more as they give a more elaborate view of the things.

Solution- It’s better to focus on the content of the supplementary tabs as they have become the area of primary focus nowadays.

It is wise to optimize these pages so that they become the favorite of the search engines and can further capture the users with their relevance.

Reinvent and change… Original stands high

Easy to use UI

Designers think that innovating and reinventing the whole look and design of the website is a must as it pulls a great set of audience.

Contrarily, changing the look of the website can actually backfire rather can generate more leads as the users don’t like something which goes out of the way.

Now, even if the design is superb as a result of the whole revamp thing still customers will take a lot of time to be comfortable with it and will not accept that change initially.

In case of redesigning, it is essential to know the positives and negatives of the website beforehand and also the shift in the consumers’ preferences if any.

Drastic changes are not required as in the case of design even less will do the job of more and the improvisation will prove beneficial.

Solution- Jumping to a completely new unique design can harm as it betrays the recognition factor among the members. Developments even if minimal will suffice as against a complete makeover unless really necessary.

Users like things handy and only familiarity with the product can give them that. However, fresh the design is it will be unwelcome to the users as they might find it difficult to get back to the comfort zone.

Additionally, spending a hefty amount on a completely new website is risky as it relies greatly on the audience’s approval. So, make a change that is for good!

Icons score more… Untrue. They are not that perfect.

UI Icons

Icons as symbols are the best friends of users. Now, this is seriously a big myth. Users find it difficult to relate to the wide range of icons and remember their functions properly.

To remember what was for, what is a big task for them as they have to keep a lot in mind and they find it difficult to recall them time and again. Icons actually affect the usability as it makes the things complicated for the users.

Changed icons with different names and positions is not a good step taken by the designer as they find the whole process of figuring out the new functions time-consuming too.

Now, thinking that representing a function graphically rather than using a button is more convenient is actually a wrong notion as they are more comfortable operating the buttons rather than grasping these graphics for various actions.

Solution- Icons need a lot of usability testing to judge if they will work in the favor of the users. However, they still create a complexity and can hamper the overall experience.

These pose a lot of problems as the users have to do a lot of guesswork. As the customers relate to the standard usage of icons, changes in their placement and function are not digested well by them.

Although icons add to the looks of the page, but they can prove a burden on the website if not understood properly.

All is well with Flash…Still, a big no-no.

UI Icons

There was a time when Flash animations were a big hit with the designers and they used it anywhere and everywhere they wanted.

Whether the user had flash player or the internet speed was suitable, were some factors that were not even given a thought by them. It overlooked usability and weakened the whole purpose of technology. Hence, it was ripped off completely for posing problems to the users.

However, Flash technology got a modern twist with time and became user-friendly with its supportive features. Users started using it gladly and owing to its popularity, it became the mode of video display in major leading interactive websites. Enter smartphones.

That is when Flash lost its charm again as most of the devices were not compatible with it. Although Flash-enhanced the experience on the websites but it proved redundant for mobiles and tablets as it did not support the technology and was inaccessible.

Flash with its animated style would have been a boom for the apps, but as it is an insecure mode, it has been outrightly rejected by the designers and developers.

Solution – Use HTML5 / CSS3 animation using jQuery library. Also try GIF animation for increase UI interaction.

Content comes later…Recheck, primary in every sense.

Content Strategy

Seeing wireframes with dummy texts is a common sight these days. So, that means that the text is just a second fiddle to design. Wrong.

It is as important as the design. It’s, in fact, gives the actual view of the design, adding a realistic element to it as the whole package becomes a great deal in itself.

Do not think that design is all that matters; content can wait. Honestly, it is the content that is of actual importance to the customers as they are on the lookout for the information and are in search of answers to the questions they have in mind.

It is a component that requires a great deal of attention on the part of the makers as audience generally believes what is stated therein.

Even though the design is minimalistic but if the content is compelling it will leave an impression on the minds of the users and bring out positive results in the usability tests.

If the content is incorrect or fake to the knowledge of the customers that feel misguided and cheated. Also, using dummy texts with the final design creates false impressions in the minds as they tend to assume stuff which does not even exist.

This will cost the design heavily as doubt creeps in the mind of the viewers.

Solution- Content should steer ahead of the design and be an add-on. Instead of giving ‘lorem ipsum’ it is better to give users something valuable and useful to read so that they can increase their knowledge.

Design can just adorn the website, But content gives meaning to it. Must Read this UX Communication Step where I discussed content strategies in detail.

Search is the solution… But, who wants to find?

Easy Navigation

Have the search bar and you are set to go. That’s a misconception. Users are generally on the lookout for keywords on the website to guide them across the vast source of information.

It is when these words fail that they go to the search option. Although it is readily available they seldom use it unless they want to search something or somebody they are already familiar with.

For the unknown types, they prefer the options given to them so that they just have to select what will benefit them the most. State something in front of them, it will ring a bell in their minds and they will remember the piece of information immediately.

On the other hand, if the same piece of information has to be conjured up, it will seem a tedious task to them.

Solution- Searching for an item seems a big thing so they go for clicking the mentioned links on the page. It is like a process for the members as they have to think what to write, what words to use and the spellings that are correct.

Navigation links score over the search questions as it offers a ready-made solution. Also, such readily accessible tools are clearly visible and do not take a toll on the brain of the customers.

Keep the website navigation easy. A quick fix that is instant and all the more easy.

Rule of thumb-Amazon… Different strokes for different folks.

Copy with Brain

Now, Amazon is amazing. Its first-rate features and attributes make it the best e-commerce website of all times. Having said that, it does not mean that Amazon can dictate the success of other e-commerce websites too.

Every website has its own unique entity. The purpose might be same, but the approach is generally different. Designing a website with Amazon as the model cannot guarantee customer reviews.

Of course, you can learn from the design and improvise, but it is important to know the strategy and understand the formula that worked for them and then use the variables to create your own equation.

Solution- Amazon is not a foolproof phenomenon that will work for all the websites.

Even though the design can be an inspiration and be used to copy the elements, but every website brings with it its own success mantra. Some of the strategies used by Amazon cannot prove suitable for the other e-commerce websites as they are yet to establish themselves.

So, it is not advisable to blindly follow and copy a website without evaluating the purpose and knowing the objectives. Users’ needs play a role and should never be left behind while conceptualizing the product. Therefore, copy, but with brains!

Alike users…’your’ product v/s ‘just a product’

Product page UI

A product is the fruit of a designer’s hard work. So, it is easy to assume that users will understand the product in the same manner as its maker. But this is not the case.

A designer and a customer cannot think alike and that is because he knows the nitty-gritty of the product. He will obviously incline more towards the product and thus dilute the process of designing.

He is aware of the nuts and bolts involved in the website and has high spirits regarding the services that are offered. However, users are not that concerned with it.

Okay, they might like it, choose it or go for the service, but they are not much moved about it. The audience is least concerned with its successor progress and just wants quick solutions on the go.

Solution- The designer is close to the product can be swept by favoritism. To avoid such a thing, it is suggested that the customers should have an active participation in the designing stage as their ideas can influence the decision-making process to a great extent.

It is important to keep in mind that the project is for someone who is not related to it as a whole. Work on understanding the outsider’s viewpoint rather than being just an insider.

There will always be a gap as the designer can never step in the shoes of a real user. Nevertheless, designs should be made keeping in mind that the users have a different identity altogether and their thinking patterns and behavior may not match up.

Customers are clear… Well, confusion begins with them.

User Experience

A product is all for the people. But that doesn’t mean they know how to go from better to the best.

Relying on the audience for their feedback so as to innovate effectively is like being in a fool’s paradise as people are confused when it comes to changes.

Their fickle minded nature cannot let them stick to their predicted behavior as they tend to vary in their opinion easily. Give them new and there is an instant shift.

Imagination is quite different from the actual story. It is when the real product comes forward that the preferences change and a different trend emerges. Nevertheless, have their say.

Solution- Make sure to ask the questions that imply and use the answers as a hint. But remember that a reformed design can create a huge impact and may lead to redefining their wants.

A good example can be food items where depending upon the users for their opinion in improving the flavor and taste can never be fruitful as it is ultimately the call of the tongue and the taste buds can ditch any day.

So, don’t just blindly go for the focus groups as the users’ attitude can take quick turns. Their ideas depict a false picture of the reactions that may not actually happen.

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Prince Pal

UI UX Consultant Helping Digital Startups & Stakeholders Grow Their Business at Think 360 Studio
For 15+ years I have designed, developed and marketed websites/apps startups in New York, California, Florida and in India. Always focused on great User Interface is key.

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