8 User Experience Elements That My Be Turning People Away

January 11, 2024 | Platinum Consulting

Nowadays, everyone cares about the experience your brand can offer – and that starts on your website. 

In the World Usability Congress UX Trend Report of 2023, 64% of respondents rated the impact of “experience design” as “very important” in terms of business performance. Furthermore, up to 98% of respondents believe that “experience design” will become more popular in the next decade. 

Long story short, people aren’t just looking to buy or sell or learn – they’re looking to engage in something greater than themselves, and as a business, you need to offer that to them. 

That’s why your website’s creative design is more important than ever. Now’s the time to adopt a user-centric approach to bringing all the right visual elements to the table – and none of the wrong ones. 

Your website’s user experience (UX) will make or break your success, especially in terms of lead generation. To make sure you’re on the right track, here are eight UX design elements that might be turning people away, rather than drawing them in. 

1. Slow Page Load Times

As far as user experiences go, waiting (in line or online) is never a great one. User research tells us that most consumers expect websites to load in under three seconds – and the faster, the better.

Throughout your site’s UX design process, make sure you’re prioritizing a truly enjoyable user interface – one that renders quickly and is easy to use. In today's hyper-connected world, patience is a rare commodity. If your website takes ages to load, users are more likely to hit the dreaded back button and seek greener (read: faster) pastures elsewhere. 

How to Speed Up Your Website

If you know your UX design is being tarnished by slow-loading images or text, it’s time to optimize. Focus on compressing images, minifying CSS and JavaScript files, and leveraging browser caching. If none of that works, it’s time to get in contact with a web design expert for help.

2. Cluttered Design

Have you ever walked into a physical store, only to feel immediately overwhelmed by narrow aisles and jam-packed racks or shelves? 

You don’t want your site visitors to feel the same way about your UX design elements. It’s great to add features that boost user interface capabilities, but at the same time, you don’t want to inundate visitors with an obnoxiously cluttered or chaotic visual design. 

Don’t believe us? Well, GoodFirms estimates that about 87% of web designers have selected “crowded web design” as the most common website mistake made by small businesses. 

How to Clean Up a Crowded Site 

As you embark on the UX design process, focus heavily on user preferences. What does your target audience want to see, and how can you present it to them in an organized, appealing manner? 

Hot tip: don’t be afraid of white space. Focus on eliminating unnecessary UX elements, choosing instead to embrace a website aesthetic that’s clean, simple, and pleasing to visitors. 

3. Confusing Navigation

Imagine trying to navigate through a labyrinth with no map, signposts, and certainly no thread from Adriene. That's how users feel when they encounter confusing a slapdash website with little to no navigation system. 

Throughout the UX design process, you must prioritize information architecture (IA). This is the concept of organizing, structuring, and labeling content effectively and sustainably – so your visitors can find their way through the maze and to their final destination. 

How to Simplify Your Website’s Architecture

Start by implementing intuitive navigation menus, clear calls-to-action, and a logical site structure. Then, monitor user behavior to determine which UX design elements are causing the most friction. Is it a poor search function, or is your product menu difficult to navigate quickly? 

4. Non-Responsive Design

In the era of smartphones and tablets, a non-responsive website is like putting on an old black-and white-film for a bunch of young CoComelon fans. Trust us: you won’t get a good response.

A non-responsive UX design can easily result in a disjointed and frustrating user experience. With the increasing prevalence of mobile devices for browsing the internet, users expect websites to seamlessly adjust to their screens, whether it's a smartphone, tablet, or desktop. When a website fails to meet these expectations, they might quickly abandon the site in search of one that provides a smoother, more engaging browsing experience.

How to Make Your Site More Responsive

Nowadays, designers must prioritize responsive web design throughout the entire design process. This starts with incorporating functional specifications that outline the need for responsiveness across various devices. 

Web designers should also create wireframes and prototypes that demonstrate how the layout and elements will adapt to different screen sizes. This allows them to identify potential issues early on and make necessary adjustments to ensure a consistent and user-friendly experience across all devices. 

5. Lack of Accessibility

Accessibility isn't just a buzzword – it's a fundamental aspect of modern web design. Failure to cater to users of all ability levels can alienate a significant portion of your audience, but it can also render you non-compliant with the latest internet regulations

Furthermore, a lack of website accessibility in a UX design can send visitors away in droves. It creates barriers for users with disabilities, hindering their ability to navigate and engage with the website effectively. 

Without proper accessibility features, such as alt text for images, keyboard navigation options, and clear content hierarchy, users with disabilities may struggle to access information or complete tasks on the website. 

How to Boost Website Accessibility

To ensure website accessibility, take proactive steps throughout the UX design process. This begins with conducting user research to understand the diverse needs and preferences of all potential users. 

By gaining insights into the specific challenges faced by users with disabilities, you can tailor the UX design to effectively address these needs. 

Additionally, incorporating accessibility considerations into user testing allows you to evaluate the usability of the website from the perspective of users with disabilities and identify areas for improvement. The goal is to create an inclusive and accessible website that offers an exceptional user experience for all kinds of visitors. 

6. Intrusive Pop-Ups

We've all encountered those pesky pop-ups that hijack our screens and demand our attention, and let’s be honest: we hate them. 

Intrusive pop-ups can be incredibly annoying, regardless of what they’re promoting or how easy they are to dispel. If you use these features too often (or too recklessly), you can easily send visitors running for the hills. 

When It’s Okay to Use Pop-Ups

Pop-ups are accessible in some circumstances – but only if they are implemented thoughtfully and strategically as part of the UX design process to enhance user experience, rather than detract from it. 

For instance, pop-ups can be used to deliver relevant and timely information, such as notifying users about limited-time offers, inviting them to subscribe to a newsletter for exclusive updates, or providing helpful tips or assistance during their journey on the website. 

When designing pop-ups, carefully consider factors like timing, frequency, and ease of dismissal. You can easily find yourself on shaky ground, so always err on the side of caution if you’re concerned about how the pop-up will be received. 

7. Poor Mobile Optimization

Mobile optimization isn't just a nice-to-have feature – it's a must-have in today's mobile-first landscape. Currently, mobile and desktop each account for 50% of online traffic, which means your mobile website is JUST as important as your desktop site.

A lack of mobile optimization results in a subpar user experience characterized by slow loading times, distorted layouts, and cumbersome navigation. This frustrates users and discourages them from engaging with the website further, likely leading to higher bounce rates and lost opportunities for conversions. 

Furthermore, today’s users have countless alternatives at their fingertips – and a poorly optimized mobile experience can tarnish a brand's reputation and send them running into the arms of your competitors. 

Tips for Jumping on the Mobile Bandwagon

For starters, you’ll need to prioritize mobile optimization throughout the UX design process, starting with incorporating mobile-specific functional specifications into the project requirements. 

By understanding the unique constraints and capabilities of mobile devices and considering the context in which users interact on smaller screens, you can create responsive web designs that adapt seamlessly to various screen sizes and resolutions. 

Additionally, conducting user research (specifically focused on mobile users) can help you understand their preferences, behaviors, and pain points. By integrating mobile optimization into the UX design from the outset and continually testing and iterating based on user feedback, you have the opportunity to create truly mobile-friendly experiences.

Tailor Your UX Design for Success 

Ultimately, research shows that every $1 invested in UX brings an average of $100 in return. That’s an ROI of 9,900% – which means you should never skimp on your UX design process, regardless of your industry or business size.

For your website to thrive, you need to partner with website gurus who understand your visual design requirements, as well as your functional specifications and requests. It’s also helpful to work with web designers who help with user research to understand what your target audience wants and needs.

Fortunately, that’s precisely what our website designers are here to help with.

Contact Platinum Consulting Today 

Your website is the digital storefront of your business – and you shouldn’t have to compromise on aesthetics for a superior user experience. Our team specializes in extraordinary website designs that turn clicks into revenue and visitors into loyal customers.

To learn more, get in touch with our UX designers. We’ll start with a free consultation to learn what your website needs and how we can help.