Getting stuck in traffic, finding spoiled milk in your fridge, or forgetting an umbrella on a rainy day…all of these are bad experiences of one kind or another. Any of those negative experiences can leave you in a bad mood and perhaps unwilling to complete the task you set out to do originally. This same mentality goes for bad user experiences, which can be detrimental to a business’s website.
User experience (UX) can be broadly described as the sum total of the feelings an internet user takes away from their engagement and analysis of a particular website. UX covers everything from how a website functions to how it appears. Bad UX represents a considerable fault in any interface subcategory that significantly degrades a user’s ability to prosperously engage the platform as intended.
There are numerous bad user experience examples out in the digital world today, each with its own indicators that demonstrate where that particular website or web page lost track of proper interface design principles. Take note of these 4 bad user experience indicators and ensure that they never rear their ugly heads on your business’ website:
Indicator #1: Slow Page Load Times
One of the first and most prominent indicators of negative user experience involves page load times, that is, when they are exceptionally slow. Given the lightning-fast speeds of modern-day internet connections, slow loading websites stand as an outlier that can leave a very bad impression on users.
In a study, Google found that going from 0.4 seconds loading time to 0.9 seconds loading time decreased the website traffic and revenue by 20%. And Hotmail found out that 6 seconds time delay caused a 40 million dollar drop in ad impressions each month. So time is equal money in this situation.
At best, slow page load times can leave prospective customers feeling unsatisfied and less likely to return to your website in the future. At worst, though, slow page load times can cause the user to abort their planned objectives all together – including sales made directly through your platform. Both of these results can hurt your business’ bottom line and digital reputation if they are left unchecked.
How to fix it?
Often, slow page load times are caused by problems connected to your website’s host. If your web host runs too many ads or does not use modern caching protocols, you can expect to see reliably slower-than-average page load times. If you are able to find great quality hosting or build your website using a good website builder, this can help you avoid the previously mentioned negative indicator altogether.
Try to optimize every part of your website to lower it’s loading times. Optimizing images will help you reduce web page size without losing the quality of the image. There are free and paid image optimization, or you can try to upload smaller images altogether. Remove any element that is not absolutely necessary to the user. And use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to analyze and see what you can improve on your website.
Indicator #2: Generic Stock Photos
When you first built your business’ website, you may have cut some corners in order to save time and resources. Many folks turn to the use of stock photos to propagate their website in lieu of real photos demonstrating their business’ work or products. This is okay in the short term, but know that the use of generic stock photos can give eagle-eyed users the wrong impression about your business.
According to MDG Advertising, 67% of online shoppers rated high-quality authentic images as a very important feature. Wheater you’re in the eCommerce sector or just blogging, users will expect your images to actually be yours. In the eyes of some modern internet users, stock photos appear tacky and indicate a minimal degree of effort on the part of the business that uses them.
Also, given how often stock photos are used by shady online businesses, some prospective shoppers may stay away for fear of ill repute. No business wants these types of negative traits applied to their business, so it is best to steer clear of generic stock photos whenever possible. If you don’t give enough effort for your visuals, your users will probably think that you won’t give that effort in your content too.
How to fix it?
If you must use photos on your website (and by all means, you should), consider obtaining real photos of your company’s products or employees engaged in their work. Such realistic photos can communicate more passion for your marketing endeavors, which in turn can positively impact sales potential where stock photos would otherwise fall flat. Don’t worry if it won’t look as good as those professionally crafted photos, but your users will appreciate your honesty much more than some missing pixels.
If you must have stock photos, try to search for photos that all fit the same style. Try to match your website’s style with the photos you selected, so that everything would fell like one aesthetic. Just don’t use the most popular photos or the first images in Google search.
Indicator #3: Lack of Contact Info
Another key indicator of bad interface design is the distinct absence of contact info from a business’ website. In decades past, this issue might have been forgivable given that prospective customers could look up a business’ phone number in the Yellow Pages. Those days are long gone now, requiring a business to always make their phone number, email, address, and social media channels easily accessible through a devoted contact page.
According to SMB DigitalScape’s study, only 19.5% of websites had a link to any of their social media profiles. And almost 75% of websites lacked any type of email contact. So, having all your contact info available not only helps your customers but will make you stand out from the crowd.
Without these important pieces of contact info listed, prospective customers will have no means of easily contacting your business to make inquiries. As a result, they may simply pass over your business and find a competitor who is easier to contact. Suffice to say, this simple omission can really hurt your company’s sales potential in the long run.
Also, unlike pre-mix cement, you cannot simply set your contact info and forget about it. Anytime a critical piece of contact info changes, it should be immediately updated on the appropriate website pages. Forgetting to do so can lead prospective customers down a rabbit hole that may quickly lead them away from doing business with your company.
How to fix it?
Always have a designated contact page, where users would find that information easily. Try to update that information whatever is necessary. If one contact is broken, you will lose reputation in the eyes of your customer. Show the most important contacts in the header or footer, a lot of people search for information there.
Don’t forge social links and email, some people prefer to write rather than call. And it always helps to have more ways for people to reach you.
Indicator #4: Infrequent Updates
Following in the same vein of updating your contact information on a regular basis, you should also ensure that all of the core content on your business’ website is updated frequently. This includes all parts on the website that are designed to onboard and retain customers, such as a sales catalog or blog. Infrequent updates can quickly create a disconnect between your customers and the current state of your business.
New information looks more trustworthy to most customers. When reading about something, users tend to trust 2018 articles more than articles from 2008. The more updates you do, the more it will look like your business is developing and advancing. And it works in reverse if you update infrequently.
For example, most customers would be deeply unsatisfied to discover that the desired product was out of stock after purchasing it through an eCommerce platform. This customer’s displeasure may create bad blood immediately, greatly decreasing the likelihood that they will ever engage in further purchases through your business. Such mismatches in stocking information may derive from infrequent updating.
How to fix it?
You want to always keep an eye on your website, unfortunately, you don’t have enough time to test and check everything. But your customers do, using solutions like the Usersnap feedback tool. It allows users to take screenshots and make annotations to notify customer support/developers. This way you can locate bugs, misspellings or lack of useful information faster.
One of the best ways to avoid this bad UX element is by creating a content publishing calendar. Such a schedule can ensure that none of your public-facing content becomes undesirably dated.
Bad UX Could Be a Deal Breaker
Bad user experiences can severely affect your business’ online potential if they are allowed to get out of hand. Through inaction or poor planning, these bad user experience elements can cause your business to miss out on potential sales opportunities that would otherwise be streamlined through your digital platform.
If you notice any of these bad UX indicators on your business’ website, don’t wait to resolve them. Every day brings fresh traffic to your website, so time is of the essence when it comes to providing a positive user experience that drives sales and engagement for your business.