User Experience is a subjective subject. Something some people would argue is good UX, other people think is terrible UX. However there are a certain number of awful user experience practices, some horrid, messy, diabolical (too much?) user experience fails that must be stopped, which everyone can agree on.
#1 Compromising load times on your blogroll page
The internet is becoming more and more visual. You don’t need me to tell you that.
Pinterest is living proof that visuals are one of the most important things that you can invest your time, effort and – within reason, cash – in for your website. As with anything though, too much of a good thing can backfire. Vertical images for use on Pinterest are great, however there’s nothing worse than a blog page that pulls in 30+ oversized vertical images that were never designed to be shown in this format. It often slows down load times considerably, and does not present a good experience.
Either stick to compressed horizontal images, or limit the amount of images on your blogroll.
If your blog takes over 3 seconds to load, you have work to do.
#2 Sticky banners or messages on Mobile
Mobile phones only have a limited amount of screen space. Why would you want to decrease this by 20% and give your user no option to remove that obstruction?
If you need to have a sticky header or HelloBar on mobile (I’d advise you turn sticky headers off for mobile visitors) make sure you are only taking up a small amount of screen real estate.
One of the worst culprits for this is, I’m afraid, Bloglovin’. It’s not good that a business of this size features on a list of user experience fails!
This is a perfect example of how not to do mobile.
There is no option to get rid of this large black field, which of course is encouraging you to sign up to Bloglovin’. However Bloglovin’ should have confidence in their product being able to convert casual visitors into users.
#3 Hard to dismiss overlays & pop ups
Bloggers we get it. Conversion is difficult, and your bounce rates are high.
That’s no excuse to compromise user experience though. Welcome Mat banner adverts are all well and good, but they should be handled in a way that is as easy to dismiss them as possible. Every welcome mat or pop up overlay should be easily dismissed with a visible cross.
Google has even announced that it will be penalising websites for using these techniques, with a focus on mobile experiences, from January 2017.
#4 Using Flash… Stop that!
Google has officially announced that it will be dropping support by default for Adobe Flash in an upcoming version of Google Chrome.
Assuming of course that your website was built post 2008, it’s probably unlikely that your site uses Flash. However certain plugins and services still hang onto it like a bad rash.
Why is Flash all bad though? One reason is that it’s not possible for search engines to properly crawl content that is being served by flash player. All that time being spent on good SEO could be being wasted! The other is plain user experience. Flash ramps up computer CPUs (the brain of your computer!) more than almost any other website tech. I.e, it’s really inefficient.
You can quickly and easily check whether your site uses any flash using an SEO tool like this one so that you don’t appear on a user experience fails list somewhere online 😉
#5 Responsive sliders
It might scale responsively, but does it look good responsively? So many sliders claim to be responsive, especially when using plugins on WordPress. They might be responsive, but they look like sh*t. Sadly, too many websites or blogs simply implement a one size fits all approach to their slider. If it looks good on desktop its good to go.
Do not fall into this trap.
A responsive slider or image means it responds to the device screen size that it is being viewed on. A primarily horizontal responsive slider will not work if it is resized to mobile.
The best practise would be to configure two sliders, one for mobile and one for desktop. These slides can then be served depending on what device your user is browsing on using a simple bit of Javscript. Notice the header image that we use on our Blog page and on the homepage of Pixel Whizz. If you resize your browser window you’ll see a different image being served for mobile devices, to ensure it looks great for both visitors.
#6 Autoplaying Videos… The Worst of User Experience Fails
I think we can all take a joint sigh of relief when we peacefully agree that this is one of the biggest user experience fail that a website can commit.
The video call to action is one of the strongest on the web. It should never be bypassed. With the exception of perhaps background videos – which is another issue altogether – all videos should be explicitly clicked on before they play.
Do NOT use autoplaying videos online. End of. Period.
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