UX Design Mistakes You Unwittingly Make and How to Fix Them

Aug 23, 2021 - 15 Minutes read
UX Design Mistakes You Unwittingly Make and How to Fix Them

Good UX design = successful product. Period.

We can’t iterate enough how user experience (UX) design is critical to the success of a product or service. Design starts from understanding what people want and how they behave in order to create something that will meet their needs.

A good UX designer does this with an analytical approach focused on usability, functionality and user interface (UI). Knowing your users can help you make decisions about who they are as well as where these potential customers live online so you can optimize your product for them.

When designing any new feature it's important to not only think about its benefits but also about negative consequences to any possible design flaws in the feature. Not only could the performance of your product be seriously thwarted but your chances at securing the loyalty of users could fall flat on your face.

UX design mistakes you definitely should avoid

Here’s a detailed look at some of the most common UX design mistakes that designers and design agencies have been known to commit and still do to this day. We’ve added remedies to each of them to pull you out in case you may be guilty of making one or more of these mistakes.

1st mistake: Ignoring those that the product is meant for

There’s nothing worse than becoming so inward-looking that one completely disregards the very people that they are building something for  - the users. Believing to the point of callous confidence that what you think will be good for the users will find resonance among the users too is the first mistake a UX designer can commit.

Designing for your audience is more than just designing to meet their needs. It is a key factor in crafting the best user experience. You have to design with them in mind - empathize and put yourself into their shoes, then listen closely enough so you can understand what they need from a product or service.

You may not know what they want, but you can always ask them. The importance of usability testing and conversion research cannot be overstated when it comes to designing an effective UX for your site visitors or app users – do this little exercise before finalizing any design decisions so that there are no surprises down the road.

Usability TestingSource:

It is imperative that you understand your user's needs in order for them to find satisfaction when using any product, especially an immersive one such as software, which often relies on time-consuming tasks like navigation through menus and screens to complete simple actions. The same goes for websites - if your site has been designed without understanding what makes sense intuitively, it will be hard for people who visit your website.

The remedy

If you want to identify problem areas precisely and quickly, conduct an in-depth analysis of all the data collected through user interviews, surveys and focus groups. This will reveal the precise locations of the user pain points.

It will also tell you why the users are abandoning your website or app at those specific points so you can use this information as an opportunity for improvement. Create theories for what might improve their experience and then investigate them using science-based methods like A/B testing.

2nd mistake: Bombarding users with CTAs and pop-ups

You seriously don’t think users would take in a barrage of pop-up ads and CTAs, stick around and patiently wait to get where they want to? Well, if you do, then you’re sadly mistaken.

Although there’ll be mixed reactions to the idea of using pop-ups to improve conversion rate, intrusive pop-up ads can really tick off users when all they want to do is navigate through your website or app without be bombarded by annoying and unwanted ads. Interestingly, even though Google’s algorithm clearly doesn’t favor websites with pop-up ads, still a lot of people ask whether their website should run pop-up ads.

Why? Here’s the thing - you can still trigger a growth in your conversion rate if you know how to use pop-ups without affecting your SEO. However, even if you feel the urge to use these hacks and tips to break through the barrier of Google penalties, I’d suggest not to be gung-ho about it and take it easy on your ambitions of making it big with your CTA and pop-up plans.

Intrusive pop ups will be penalized by GoogleSource:

Google has taken a stand against unwanted pop-ups in mobile search by improving user experience and minimizing disruptions during browsing. In order to avoid this, marketers need only know what good pop-ups are from bad ones by following Google’s latest page experience report.

But, suffice to say, the search engine leader is taking action on its goal of producing great content that users can access without having their searches interrupted with an unnecessary pop-up ad or notification. This means it’s up to you as a marketer whether your messages will be considered ‘good’ or not. Clearly though, no matter how much users hate them, you’ll never be able to get rid of pop-ups.

The remedy

Google will crack down on intrusive interstitials that blanket the actual content from the users' view. So, not only will you now be penalized by Google, your website’s engagement rate will start plummeting as well. Trust me, you wouldn’t want something like that to happen.

Before you even think of considering about the hacks, stick to this like your little mantra - always follow Google’s guidelines if you want your website to see the light of the day. You can start by not using pop-ups that materialize the instant somebody checks in to your website.

If you’re looking at retaining the leads you have for as long as you can, don’t sabotage the user experience just for the sake of aggressive email capture. Here’s an afterthought - you can still capture email leads without annoying your visitors if you follow these 10 rules.

3rd mistake: Not prioritizing website / app performance

I fail to understand why despite repeated reminders marketers still forego the simple task of giving enough importance to the performance of their product. I mean, how hard is it really?

Users find their experience on your site is a lot more enjoyable when they don't have to deal with poor performance, because it can lead to frustration and abandonment. Speed is an important conversion metric to track. If your website isn't loading quickly enough, you may be missing out on valuable conversions.

Similarly, website issues in the form of server errors, broken links and wrong URL redirects can seriously damage your website’s reputation and send visitors packing off immediately.

I understand you wish to make your website as impressive as possible to engage bigger crowds, but that’s also where you could easily make a very common mistake. In order to make their websites particularly beautiful, designers quite often use large high-quality images, animation and even videos for added effect.

The result - a negative effect on the users, most of who are fleeting visitors looking specifically for one thing and not in a mood to stick too long. Large images and videos can slow down page loading speed and kill the mood of the visitors, forcing them to look for what they are seeking elsewhere.

Slow web page loading leads to poor website performanceSource:

The remedy

Reserve some time during the testing phase in order to keep these "ghosts" out of experiencing your product or service (not only people but also things like bots). The performance measurement of errors should also be tracked for the same reason.

It's imperative that you focus not only what visitors see but how they feel while visiting our website as well. Another key factor in tracking user behavior are bugs and design issues, which users might notice even if they don't know anything about UX best practices themselves because people respond to things instinctively without realizing why these problems bother them.

The best way to keep your website audience interested and make them stick on is by providing them with the exact information they're looking for. You can't do this if you're choking up their screens with unwanted elements.

Subscribe to a good analytical tool to find out which pages are suffering from slow page loading and optimize them accordingly.

4th mistake: Going haywire with your usability testing

One mistake that many website owners make is limiting the scope of their usability testing. You have to understand that focusing on only a specific user base for tests can hinder the opportunity to entice users that may not fall under the ambit of your supposed target audience.

Also, there are many design decisions that need to be evaluated and tested, which is best done by doing some intense usability research. It is important to think about how users will use the product before designing everything in order for their experience with your project to be as pleasant as possible.

In order to be successful with any design, designers need a clear understanding of the goal. In addition to working on how things look and feel, it is important that they think about what needs to happen when someone interacts with their product or service.

Testing throughout the process at various stages helps ensure usability for multiple use cases and makes sure people can accomplish key tasks easily without being frustrated by glitches in navigation or user interface elements, which don't work as expected.

“When UX doesn’t consider ALL users, shouldn’t it be known as “SOME User Experience” or… SUX?”

- Billy Gregory (Senior accessibility engineer)

The remedy

Developing a website that everyone can use can be a challenging task. Websites should be simple enough to navigate and content easily understandable for all audiences, no matter their age group or skill level. 

To develop such a website, you don't really need the help of experienced users for perspective. You can simply collect people you know to ape your user profile during usability testing sessions to get some useful results. Here are some tips you should follow to ask the right usability testing questions.

User Testing in UI/UX Design Is VitalSource:

5th mistake: Failing to prototype user experience

Prototypes are a way to test your design before it goes into production. It lets you receive feedback from both internal and external parties so you’re not left guessing what your target audience want in the finished product.

Prototypes also help you work out any kinks or problems that may arise during the flow of ideas because they're fluid by nature. As soon as someone provides input on an idea, designers will be able to quickly revise their designs based on that user's preferences for how things should look like come launch day.

Prototyping is a vital part of UX designSource:

Now, imagine that you didn’t include this important step into your website or app development process. Your users would most likely feel lost while browsing your app or website since they would not find what they are looking for where they are looking for it. That would be a colossal mistake that you would kick yourself for committing.

Perhaps the most famous as well as overused instance to best describe such a scenario is what is known as the Norman door design.

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of a Norman door is sheer confusion. These doors are poorly designed and make absolutely no sense on how to open them. A Norman Door has an awkward design because there isn't any indication for whether it's supposed to be opened by pushing or pulling.

This was not always the case though. It all started with Don Norman's book "The Design Of Everyday Things," which explores this very phenomenon that is known as Normality Doors or Doorknobs That Defy Us.

There's a lot that goes into making something perceptible. Prototypes are just one of the many ways to make an idea or a product more accessible to the users, and they're usually quite simple to create.

As long as users are offered perceivable hints, they’ll be able to mentally visualize every step in the journey of using the product. Read more about the benefits of prototyping in UX design.

The remedy

  • Create a prototype and test it with your users. User testing is an excellent way to observe people using the design, see where there are problems or things that need improvement in the process of use.
  • You can also look at other websites for prototypes you might be able to implement on yours. If they have established structures that worked for them, then being aware of those may make some aspects easier when designing your own site.

6th mistake: Not conforming to responsive design

In the present day world, it's not just about how the website looks on desktop computers. Website owners need to make sure that their website works well on mobile devices as well.

Responsive web design is essential in today's highly digital world. It makes it possible for a website to easily adapt to any screen size on any device, and provides seamless user experience when transitioning between devices.

The importance of a responsive website cannot be overstated as more people are using mobile devices to browse websites than ever before. It's also important because if you don't have one, your competitors will make sure that they do.

With the number of smartphone users globally surpassing a whopping six billion and forecasted to grow further, mobile users are the real target audience for UX designers right now. A typical US adult spends 2 hours and 55 minutes on their smartphone every day. Need any better reason to make responsive design an established norm for your design practices?

Smartphone Users Worldwide 2016 to 2027Source:

Responsive design can create the perfect environment for those who use mobile devices. Ignoring this strategy will make your website incompatible with these users, which could lead to a decrease in traffic and revenue.

The remedy

When developing for a website or app, it is important to focus on the needs of each device. In order to provide the best experience possible, make sure you are researching and testing in-person with real people who use that specific type of device frequently.

So rather than just treating all UX design as one monolithic entity that encompasses everything, focus on what it would take to deliver the most relevant experience possible for every device out there. That means taking into account how small screens affect your layouts or focusing more attention on optimizing button sizes instead of scrolling through an expansive page layout.

7th mistake: Long and exhausting web forms

Web forms are a ubiquitous and yet often overlooked way of collecting user information and getting them to register to your updates or notifications. The list of possible usages is endless but even with such a simple element as web forms you can make many UX mistakes that will impede your site's usability for users.

It is one thing to connect with your target audience, it is another to tire them out with your unending inquiries. Ask too many questions in your web forms and you’ll most likely send your visitors scampering off looking for your competition that won’t make the same mistake.

Web forms such as contact forms, registration forms and surveys have long helped marketers maintain valuable information on their leads. Naturally, being successful in collecting information through such forms calls for tact.

The more questions a form has, the less likely it is that someone will complete and submit. The goal of any good UX design should be to keep forms short and concise so customers can provide their information in as little time as possible without feeling like they're being interrogated by your company's website or app.

In order to avoid losing potential buyers, it is important for businesses to know the optimum number of questions that should be on a form. Here’s a good read on web forms best practices, including how to create web forms and which web forms to choose.

Airbnb's registration form is a great example of clever web forms that users are happy filling upSource:

The remedy

There are many factors to consider when trying to fully assess your users, and one such factor includes length, which might be why long forms seem more daunting than short ones for most users. Though it may take slightly longer, you'll gain valuable insight into who they really are (and what they want) with just a few clicks back-and-forth on those registration pages.

Alternatively, if you want to go deeper into visitors' experience with your web forms, you could resort to using heatmap to follow their click and hover pattern. Here’s a list of some of the best heatmap tools that you can use for your website.


The importance of user experience is indispensable for companies looking to increase customer satisfaction. This article highlights the most common UX mistakes and provides workable tips on how you can easily avoid them.

If reading about UI/UX leaves you hungry for more information, then visit our blog (Insights) where we discuss all things related, including how UX is taking the green path lately. For all UI/UX design service requirements, we’re always ready to dip our beaks into anything that challenges our little gray cells if you write to us.


Manab J Kharkatary