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UX Nightmares and 3 Ways to Avoid them

User Experience Design (AKA UXD, UED, or XD) is the process of enhancing user satisfaction with a product by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product. And there’s a lot of bad UX out there. But it’s easier than ever to be great at it.

I’m a parent of school age kids. Which means I have to suffer through unbearably bad User Experience (UX) design on school websites–particularly public school sites. Yesterday, I tried to use a “find your school based on your address” feature on a district’s website. Holy. Shit. So bad. Let me count the ways:

  1. It didn’t work on mobile.
  2. Site architecture stank of internal political games, rather than “where might our site visitors reasonably expect this to be?”

I get that it’s not all on the companies hawking these terrible, bloated, proprietary platforms– districts shoulder some of the blame as well. But, in 2019, when it’s easier than ever to produce a user experience that is beautiful, easy to use, ranks well in search, and is a conversion machine, there’s no valid excuse to have a user experience that would’ve been garbage 10 years ago anymore.

Here are 3 easy things you can do to help ensure your website or app UX doesn’t stink up the internet.

  1. Start with the user in mind. And then keep them at the center of every damn decision you make. Ask yourself (or your team or your UX design agency) things like: why is my site visitor here? What are their goals? Their daily trials & triumphs? How might we make it easier for our dear visitors/users to accomplish those goals, revel in those triumphs, and minimize their trials?
  2. Experiment. With tools like Google Analytics, Optimizely, and Hotjar, it’s insanely easy to get real-world data on how people are using your website. Are they clicking on things you thought they would? Are they bouncing right away? The key to a good experiment is to have a testable hypothesis and to be willing to be wrong and learn.
  3. Just. Do. Something. The great thing about digital marketing is that you can always change it later. Have an idea you think might improve your UX? Do it. Now. If it works, try again to make your UX even better. Didn’t work? Cool. Make it better.

Good UX is no longer an option. So. Yeah. Stop it and make your users’ experience a little better. They’ll thank you.