In Web Design, UI stands for User Interface. This is what the user is seeing as they use the website. When Web Developers create a new website, they design the UI from scratch and make some assumptions about what the user will or won’t like. Sometimes these assumptions leads to UI mistakes, we tried to cover the most basic Tricks to Avoid for Web Design.
Some decisions are just basic web design principles, like a grid design layout, optimising load times and emphasising simplicity in the website.
Some of these decisions are more about Standard Practice, such as having the company logo link back to the Home Page. It isn’t necessary, but users have come to expect it as standard on websites.
And some decisions are more about choice on the part of the Developer. Things as simple as where you put the business address and contact details, if you put them at all. It needs to be decided, and possibly changed later on, depending on what users think of it.
As the Internet matures and grows, we learn what types of web design users do and don’t like, and Web Developers use this information to create new websites that are in line with what users want. Usually.
Sometimes, Web Developers think they know what’s best for users, even if users are adamant and vocal in their dislike.
Here are the Top 6 UI Tricks that Web Developers continue to use in their websites, even though absolutely no-one is asking for them. If web design is your bag, and want your next website to be fantastic, don’t use any of these ideas
Unnecessarily Adding Pages
People like lists, they read enough of them to keep websites like Buzzfeed and TopTenz.net in business, and it’s easy to see why. Lists split information down into easily digestible chunks, because nobody likes walls of text.
List articles are often split into multiple pages as it can help with navigation and means the website can host more advertising. Some websites however take this idea and push it to the limit and split each point into two or three pages, to cram as many adverts in as possible. I don’t think it’s a huge leap to thinking these websites are often also the ones that utilise Clickbait. This type of article means the user has to work much harder to read the entire article and they must be utterly fascinated by the content to make it all the way to the end.
Adding in unnecessary pages may seem like a great idea from a business viewpoint: More pages means more advertising means more money. In reality though, adding more pages means you will annoy your user-base, who will, in turn, not make it all the way through your article and you’ll end up making less money.
So now you know to avoid too many pages. Be careful, however, not to go too far the other way!
On the opposite side of the scale, certain websites now utilise Infinite Scrolling. Now, at first glance this seems like the perfect solution. Users don’t like too many pages, so only use the one. It works for social media like Facebook and Twitter, so what the problem?
Infinite Scrolling is not the perfect solution to every website. It works for Social media because you interact with something you see and then move forwards, not really intending to move backwards. This doesn’t work for many websites however. ECommerce website users may want to go back and reconsider an item before purchasing. In an infinite scrolling page, that’s going to become difficult to find again. However, for browsing a catalogue it may be useful, so ECommerce may want it as an option, rather than as standard.
The other big issue with infinite scrolling is that if you’ve been scrolling down it for a few minutes and you refresh the page by accident. Its going to take you ages to find your place again, whereas with page numbers, you can quickly get back to where you were.
The point is that whichever option you choose; few pages, multiple pages or infinite scrolling, you need to really consider the pros and cons of each before implementing the option not the website.
Push Notifications are a great way to stay in contact with your client-base. If you have a great offer or big news, then you can send a notification to the user’s device, whatever it may be; Phone, Desktop or Tablet. You know they will get that information straight away, not having to wait till they next go on the website to find out.
The issue is that so many websites have this little Pop Up asking if you want Push notifications, and every user gets them. New users, who have never experienced this website before are getting a notification asking if they want Push Notifications. It comes across as, well, Pushy!
If a user does click that they want Push Notifications however, be careful how you handle that decision. If you’re spamming them with unnecessary notifications at all hours of the day, it won’t be long before they block those notifications and probably reconsider using your website at all.
This is less of a UI Trick and is more… well, exactly what it says. Bad Navigation is one of the worst things that can happen to any website.
Bad navigation is not any one element, it’s a whole bunch of small things that build up. It simply means that it takes the user far longer than it should to do what they want to do.
Navigation in a nutshell comes down to consistency. You want the user to learn where things are and what action does what. If every new page has a different layout or clicking the ‘Home’ button has different effects on different pages, you’re asking the user to continually learn how the website works, and that is probably not the reason they are on your site I the first place. Never overestimate a user’s patience when it comes to web design. If they can’t find what they are looking for in a reasonable amount of time, they will go elsewhere.
Annoying Pop Ads
Pop Ads can be a fantastic addition to a website for gaining sign-ups or showing promotions, but they are often seen as annoying when used incorrectly.
No-one wants a pop up the second they step into your website for the first time asking for their information. This user doesn’t know what your website is like yet or if they will ever use it again, let alone if they think giving you their personal information is a good idea.
Equally, having a Pop Ad as someone tries to exit your site can a successful way to bring back a customer who was thinking of leaving. The ones that say “Wait! Before you go, here’s a thing you may like!” may come across as cute and may be successful. But you need to find out if that really is how your Pop Ad comes across. Users may actually read it as: “Don’t you dare leave my website yet! Give me your information now!” and that’s not a great way to gain the trust of your users.
Passive Aggressive Text
This is related to Number 5 in that it’s also about Pop Ads. Pop Ads are a great way of promoting something to the user that you think they may like. However, remember that the user is entitled to not want that thing and click off of your Advert.
Do you recognise this sort of advert copy?
Sign Up to our email list and get great discounts on our brand of food!
‘Yes, sign me up: I’m clever and know a good deal when I see it!’
‘No, I want to spend extra money because I’m an idiot.’
The idea is that the user will not want to feel like an idiot, so they’ll will click ‘Yes’ even if they weren’t very interested in the offer. More likely however is that the user will feel offended at the way the website spoke to them. If the text you add to the ‘No’ button is passive aggressive and sarcastic, your website comes off as bitter and unfriendly.
So, there you have it, six annoying UI Tricks that Web Developers continue to use. If you want to make a good website, obviously don’t do these things but it goes further than that. Websites need continually updating and finding what aspects do or don’t work with their users.
When it comes to Web Design in Nottingham, there’s a lot of options: Web Developer Companies and Freelancers. Some of them do make mistakes listed in this article, and many learn from them. Intelicle is one Web Development company that makes sure to not include anything into a website design unless it is what the website owner wants and is convinced of its benefits to users. Intelicle listens to issues and are continually striving to create better websites.