In this post, we’ll look at seven of the most common UX problems affecting websites.
- Too many CTAs (“Calls to Action”)
- Difficult registration processes and forms
- Not testing the website with target users
- Not testing enough
- Website is hard to navigate
- Not thinking of UX as an ongoing process
- Overlooking the power of user feedback
Overlooking user experience is a huge mistake for any business, no matter how big or successful.
- Almost 90% of online customers claim a bad user experience is enough to put them off returning to a site — and who can blame them when they have countless alternatives at their fingertips?
- 80% of consumers would pay more for a higher standard of UX
But as important as user experience is, only 55% of companies invest in UX testing.
And that means they’re less likely to be aware of major UX issues until it’s too late.
Effective UX design delivers a more user-friendly website and a better browsing/shopping experience, which can:
- increase conversions
- increase revenue
- increase retention rates
- raise brand awareness
- encourage word-of-mouth marketing
It’s vital that businesses take the time to identify UX issues and resolve them to provide a quality experience.
What should you watch out for?
1. Too many CTAs (“Calls to Action”)
CTAs are an integral element of good UX design. They help users understand, and take, the next step in their journey.
Getting the colours, placement, and text right is paramount — Amazon famously increased sales by an eye-watering $300 million by changing CTA text from “register” to “continue”.
But another key part of implementing CTAs is knowing when enough is enough.
An excessive number of CTAs on a page is likely to confuse, irritate, and overwhelm users. They may have no idea what your business wants them to do next if there are too many buttons insisting they “JOIN” or “SAVE MONEY NOW” or “BECOME A VIP MEMBER” all on one page.
If they click on the wrong CTA, they could enter an infuriating spiral of backtracking when they realise the site is forcing them towards a destination they never wanted to reach.
What can you do to avoid this? Define one clear, single objective that you want a specific page to achieve in the customer journey. And then design the page to guide users towards clicking that button.
This demands a comprehensive awareness of your target audience and what they’re looking for. You should understand their pain points and know how to introduce them to your solutions in the shortest time when they land on your site.
CTAs should feel like a natural part of the rest of the content on the page. The preceding text should set the product or service up, cover the solution it offers in brief, and guide their eyes down to that glorious, irresistibly clickable button.
2. Difficult registration processes and forms
Registering with a website should be as simple as possible. Providing a business with personal details and contact information can feel like a big step for some users, especially if they’re wary of online stores or service providers.
It demands trust — and you should reward that with a user-friendly experience. Otherwise, a potential new customer, ready to offer you years of loyal custom, could decide to cut their losses and abandon the sign-up process within seconds.
Registration forms should be quick and easy to complete. Only request essential details — asking for information that may appear unnecessary can appear intrusive.
But convenience is another key factor to consider with forms.
Presenting users with long forms containing dozens of questions they may not want (or need) to answer will add to the amount of time they spend on your site before they get what they came for. It’s an avoidable barrier you’re placing between them and their goals.
Yes, certain details are necessary, including:
- Email address
- Name, in some cases
But that should be enough in the first instance. This gives you the information you need to reach the user by email, and gives the newcomer the logins to access their account.
If you need a postal address or additional information, request that once the user has signed up. But this is only likely to be relevant if you’ll send products to them in the future — in which case, they’ll submit their address when they order.
3. Not testing the website with target users
Developers may feel a website they’ve spent months working on offers an exceptional user interface. They’ll find it easy to navigate. They’ll be able to glide from page to page on any device.
But that might not be the case for its target users, because the site is new to them. What appears obvious to the developer won’t to everyone else. That’s why testing the site with target users is so important.
Usability testing is an effective way to determine how the website fits the people it’s built for. This process invites a designated group of users to explore a website and interact with it in a variety of ways. Their unfamiliarity with the site will help to reveal any potential user experience problems, from clunky menus and confusing CTAs to videos that won’t play properly.
While this is a controlled experiment, it offers a valuable insight into how your site will fare when it goes live. You can identify design and technical issues that developers missed (or didn’t think to look for) based on feedback from real users.
This process brings fresh eyes to the site after it’s been worked on by the same professionals for so long.
It can also save money down the line: fixing an issue in development is 10 times as expensive as fixing it in the design stage — and it’s 100 times as expensive to fix it after release.
So the sooner you catch UX issues, the less problematic and costly they’re likely to be.
4. Not testing enough
We know that testing is crucial for good UX design — but it has to be an extensive process to be effective. Rushing through it to launch your site and start generating revenue is a short-sighted strategy.
Your testing should cover:
What does each category involve?
The functionality stage tests:
- Database performance
The usability stage tests:
- Overall design/appearance
- Content quality (readability, clarity, etc.)
The interface stage tests:
- Interactions between web, application, and database servers work properly, without errors
This stage tests the website’s compatibility with:
- Operating systems
- Mobile devices
The performance stage tests:
- Web stress (checking how the site performs when pushed to the edge of its limits and beyond)
- Web load (measuring the site’s ability to provide a quality user experience when many people are accessing it at the same time)
- Connection speed
The security stage tests:
- Password security
- Virus detecting
- Log reviews
Investing time and resources into thorough testing across these areas increases the quality of experience users can expect on your site. Yes, it involves a lot of work, but that’ll pay off when you boost your conversion and retention rates.
5. Website is hard to navigate
Your website should be easy to use. That’s simple enough. But how easy is “easy”?
Essentially, your website should be so easy to use that even drunk customers could still achieve what they need to without running into issues.
Imagine they come back from a night of bar hopping and decide they want to buy a new pair of sneakers while they’re in the mood to spend. They end up on your site after a brief search. They have their credit card in hand, ready to treat themselves.
But they face poor design, a baffling product catalogue, and a checkout system so clunky they’d struggle even if they were sober.
Do you think they would persist? Or would they just look elsewhere? It’s likely to be the latter. Especially if your prices are the same or higher than those at a competing site.
This approach may seem unusual, but it’s worked well for one forward-thinking UX professional and developer: Richard at The User is Drunk.
He’s built a successful business model that others may envy: he gets paid to drink, test client websites, and let them know how good or bad his experience was.
And smooth navigation is fundamental to an easy user experience. Effective usability testing should highlight problems in your site’s navigation.
Again, getting your site in front of target users is a must to identify problems that may be overlooked.
6. Not thinking of UX as an ongoing process
UX isn’t a one-and-done process. It’s not about taking a close look at your website’s structure, functionality, and performance then assuming it’s perfect.
UX should continue for as long as the site is up and running. Frequent testing should be undertaken to recognise issues before they disrupt users’ experience on your website. And if users report bugs or design flaws, you should resolve them as soon as possible too.
Implement regular changes, even minor ones, to your site to ensure good UX. Consumer tastes, design trends, and technologies continually evolve.
If you keep your website the same for years, it’s likely to seem outdated compared to sites that receive frequent updates.
7. Overlooking the power of user feedback
User feedback should always be welcome. They’re the people you built your website for. They’re the consumers you want to buy your products and invest in your services.
If you aren’t willing to hear what they have to say, you could miss out on some fantastic insights that you can’t get from the experts who built the site.
Users may encounter bugs, poor navigation, broken links, or missing images/videos while exploring your website. Ideally, these issues should be flagged and fixed through testing rather than when the site is live. But that’s not always viable, especially for small businesses with limited budgets and skeleton crews.
You have various ways to gather feedback. You can invite users to complete a survey, but that could take a minute or two. And let’s be honest: users might not be invested in your site enough to give up that time for you.
But one of the simplest, most effective solutions for accumulating user feedback is a feedback button. This can be integrated easily for controlled testing with designated users or when the site is live.
Adding a visible feedback button provides users with a quick, convenient method of reporting bugs, UX issues, or anything else that detracts from their experience. All they need to do is click on it to share their views through text, emojis, and screenshots.
They’re not forced to leave their current page to find a feedback form buried deep inside your site or open their email app. Users have the freedom to let you know what requires a little extra attention on a specific page within a few seconds. And then they’re free to carry on with the rest of their day.
Saber Feedback’s feedback button provides you with key details that help you diagnose the issue and find a solution faster, such as the:
- Operating system
- Browser name and version
These are included automatically: it requires no additional work from users.
You can also take advantage of a user feedback button to track customer experience through a simple score-based system. Tracking Net Promoter Scores helps you to gauge how impressed users are with your site and how likely they are to recommend it to friends. They can share their reasons to ensure you know where you’re going wrong or right.
Each of these seven common UX problems can detract from the quality of your customers’ experience on your website
Even the best designers and developers can make mistakes, but the sooner you spot these, the less havoc they’re likely to wreak.
Focus on reviewing and testing your site frequently, based on in-house analysis and user feedback. Don’t be afraid to accept that users may draw your attention to problems that you and your seasoned team missed.
In the end, it all adds up to a better user experience. And that’s more important than ever in even the most niche markets.
About Saber Feedback
Saber Feedback is an essential tool for ongoing testing. Add a Saber Feedback button to your website and your testers can easily report UX problems directly from within your website.