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10 Usability Mistakes That Drive Users Crazy (And How to Avoid Them)

10 Usability Mistakes That Drive Users Crazy (And How to Avoid Them)

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Your website’s usability can make or break the user experience. Even minor annoyances add up and cause visitors to quickly leave your site.

In this blog, We’ll explore the top 10 website usability mistakes that frustrate users along with tips to avoid them. Follow these guidelines to craft seamless experiences that convert.

1. Difficult Navigation

Clunky navigation consistently ranks as one of the top user complaints. Navigation issues include:

  • Unclear IA and labeling
  • Overstuffed primary menus
  • Hidden or missing navigation items
  • Inconsistent navigation across pages

How to Fix It

Keep primary navigation simple with 5-7 top-level links. Organize IA logically from the user perspective. Highlight key pages and actions.

Use clear, descriptive menu labels users understand. Ensure navigation is visible and consistent across all pages.

2. Overwhelming Homepages

Homepages try to cram too much – multiple menus, excessive text, popping CTAs and more. This creates cognitive overload.

Keep It Simple

Focus homepages on one clear value proposition or objective aligned to your key audience.

Remove excessive menus and reduce on-page elements to only essential info. Lead users smoothly into key site sections.

3. Cluttered Page Layouts

Similarly, interior pages with cluttered layouts make it hard to focus. Elements like pop-ups, crowding, and distractions hurt usability.

Follow Best Practices

Adhere to principles like hierarchy, white space, consistent alignment, and proper information architecture.

Draw attention simply to one value-focused proposition. Remove unnecessary elements that don’t support core page goals.

4. Tiny Text and Buttons

Hard-to-read text hinders engagement. Small text forces users to squint and strain. This causes frustration.

Make It Legible

Use adequate font sizes and weight. Ensure sufficient contrast between text and backgrounds.

Buttons should be clearly clickable with sufficient size and visual prominence. Input fields should be easy to read and complete.

5. Non-Mobile Friendly

Today, mobile responsiveness is a must. Non-optimized sites frustrate mobile users with tiny text, navigation issues and technical problems.

Optimize for Any Device

Use responsive frameworks and mobile-first design. Check functionality across devices. Avoid horizontal scrolling on mobile.

Target tap targets for touch screens. Simplify pages and navigation for mobile contexts.

6. Slow Load Times

55% of users will abandon a page that takes over 3 seconds to load. Slow speeds suggest an unreliable site.

Speed It Up

Optimize images, enable compression, reduce redirects, and leverage caching. Test site speed and diagnose issues.

Keep page sizes lean by removing unnecessary code and external requests. Upgrade hosting plans if needed.

7. Content That’s Hard to Scan

Users want to quickly extract information. Dense paragraphs without visual hierarchy make that impossible.

Enhance Scannability

Use descriptive headers, bullets, and numbered lists to chunk information. Shorten paragraph length.

Add images, charts, and infographics to support text. Bold key data. Provide value upfront through summaries.

8. Poor Search

When site search can’t find relevant results, users default to Google. This causes them to possibly leave your site altogether.

Improve Findability

Optimize site search with descriptive text snippets, autocomplete, and predictive suggestions. Highlight key pages in search results.

Allow filtering and drill-downs to narrow results. Continuously tune search algorithms and index new content.

9. Auto-Playing Audio/Video

Auto-playing media disrupts users and causes surprise or confusion, especially on mobile.

Let Users Choose

Avoid auto-playing audio or video. Use clickable thumbnail images instead to enable choice.

For necessary media, add obvious visible controls and keep volume low by default.

10. Poor Error Handling

Error messages with vague, technical text leave users stuck and send the wrong brand image.

Guide Users

Write clear, concise, and actionable error text. Avoid generic messages like “page not found”. Provide specific next steps to help recover.

Include easy navigation back to safety with links to key pages. Maintain consistent branding in error states.

By avoiding these key usability pitfalls, you can craft intuitive, frictionless experiences users love. Continuous testing and gathering feedback helps unlock further improvements to optimize conversion rates.

Want help evaluating and enhancing your site’s usability? Our UX experts offer walkthroughs, audits, and testing to identify issues and guide solutions tailored to your users and goals.

Keyur Vadhadia

Keyur Vadhadia

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