• Kemosabe Design

7 Deadly design mistakes

Stop making these 7 design mistakes.

1- Nobody reads on the web, everyone scans!

Even after crafting a quintessential article for your website, most of the part goes unnoticed! Yes, that’s for real and let that sink in. Reason? People are on a task, browsing the web, looking for quick answers to their questions.

Nobody reads word to word on the website until they really wanna follow your content. But hardly anyone does that, especially when designs are making it so much simpler to follow. Most of the users are on the website because they are serving a purpose, trying to get things done. No one has that kinda time to read more than necessary. People sail through the pages looking for relevant data and skipping what’s irrelevant to them.

Here’s how you can help to scan ( and obviously not to read)

  • Create bullet points

  • Highlight the keywords

  • Give meaningful headlines

  • Make short paragraphs

  • And lastly, make plenty of white space.

So tell me, are you reading this post or scanning?

2- Create a proper visual hierarchy

Another way you can help people scan your web page saving their time and making them “like” you a little more is by creating an effective visual hierarchy. Visual hierarchy is all about organizing your content - establishing a focal point for the users to start navigating your design-prioritizing the important content using vibrant colors, appealing topography, and other available resources in the design. It clears the relationship between the elements.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease

Meaning, the most prominent content should be given the most attention, either by making it larger or bolder or using distinctive colors. Another tip is to relate the content logically, like grouping them under the same visual style or under the same heading.

3- No instructions, please!

First thing, nobody wants to read the instructions as a user, everyone looks forward to a product to be self-explanatory. For example, when you are booking a cab, you browse a cab service app and download it. Instead of reading how it works, we expect the app to be self-explanatory, have clear navigation and fast loading. As a designer, it’s necessary to make stuff look clear and obvious.

As the UX guru, Steve Krug quotes in his book, ‘Don’t Make Me Think’,

“The more you watch users carefully and listen to them articulate their intentions, motivations, and thought processes, the more you realize that their individual reactions to Web pages are based on so many variables that attempt to describe users in terms of one-dimensional likes and dislikes are futile and counter-productive. Good design, on the other hand, takes this complexity into account.”

In a nutshell, instructions are better with images rather than words!

4- Your customer doesn’t care about your product.

Don’t worry! Your customer doesn’t even care about your competitor’s product. Nobody cares about the technology behind the product, all they care about is the result of using your product. And once the product finds its way up in a user’s workday, they’ll rarely switch to something else. As a designer, it’s our job to make users understand how a product will change them for better.

For example, we can admit that Apple AirPods isn’t the best sounding earbuds as compared to how much you pay for it. But when you look at how people use it, it’s easy to understand why people still buy it. Nobody asks why it isn’t the best in the market or what new technology is being used behind it, people just know, whenever you open the case near your device, it going to connect to it. It’s that simple and efficient.

5- Stop breaking the workflow with subtle effects.

As a website designer, we often want to make the website stand out or make it look special and unique. But is that going to serve the very purpose of the website? Adding effects do make a big difference to a website but it can lead in the wrong direction as well because, no matter how much they tell you they do, users don’t care about your designs. As said before, people are here looking for quick answers and getting their tasks done.

Business owners are in the same boat! Instead of paying just for great designs, hire a talented web design company that understands your work, and make an effective website for your business.

Adding subtle designs is not a crime but if it’s breaking the user flow, then surely it is.

6- Focus Groups (not equals) Usability Test

A Focus group is a group of people who gather together to discuss their feelings, thoughts, opinions, and past experiences over a product or a new concept. Whilst the usability test is about watching a person use a product by assigning some tasks and observing their performance and experience.

When it comes to collecting feedback from users, usability and focus groups are two very useful but very different research disciplines. Both give a vast amount of information about your customer.

7- You’re asking wrong questions

As a designer there comes a moment when we take things personally and start designing according to our likes and dislikes. Well, the wrong question asked here is “ If I would have been the user, what would be good or bad?” We tend to think that most of the users are like us but they are not.

Another wrong question, “ Will people like it?”. It’s not productive and will not add any value. Instead, you can ask, “ Will this create a great experience for the people likely to use this site? Visitors just want to know if this button is clickable or not.

Your design should be an answer to the visitor’s question like

  • Why am I here?

  • What do I want?

“By seeking and blundering we learn.”

Let us know in comments if you fell prey to any design mistake listed above and share this article so others can learn too.

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