UX design: 10 common UX design myths

15th June 2017

Myths about UX design that marketers need to watch out for

Great UX design isn’t the easiest thing to define, as highlighted in the blog about improving user experiences (UX). But it’s crucial to creating a successful website. UX-focused design helps your website to be led by user needs. Which means their interaction with your brand is purposeful, simple and engaging. And they’ll be more likely to convert.

Even though it’s been around for some time, UX design is still widely misunderstood. And because the term has been used so loosely, there are a lot of common myths surrounding it.

We’ve put together a list of our top 10 UX design myths that you need to watch out for:

UX design myths

1. UX design is about usability

You might think that UX is all about your website’s usability. But it’s so much more than that. UX designers must consider how they can make websites enjoyable, not just usable. You need to help users interact with your brand in a positive and meaningful way. Achieving this takes several factors, including appearance, content, consistency and intuitive navigation.

2. People always use your product the way you imagined they would

No matter how logical you think your design is, users will always be unpredictable. There’s no way to predict how customers will use your product or service. And, the likelihood is, they’ll use it whatever seems fastest and most natural to them. Even if your design aims to fulfil specific user tasks, don’t assume that users will behave in just one way. It’s important to continually use analytics and testing to find ways of improving.

3. A good-looking website is the most important part of web design

While the look of a website is a factor, it’s not the be-all-and-end-all of web design. When marketers hear “web design”, they often think of colours, fonts and layout. But it’s more about how the website functions, especially in UX design. The usability of your website is far more important than the style. Ultimately, how the user interacts with the site will determine their feelings about the brand. Not pretty pictures.

4. Users should be able to get what they need in three clicks

You may have heard of the “three-click” rule. It suggests that users should be able to find what they need in three clicks through your site (or less). If they can’t, they’ll get fed up and search somewhere else. The truth is, it’s not so important how many clicks the user must make. What’s important is that the navigation feels logical and easy. The user shouldn’t have to think about how many clicks they’ve made, it should just feel intuitive.

5. Your homepage is the most important page

Once upon time, the homepage was the main event of your website. Designers would often (and some still do) put the most work into making the homepage a show-stopper. But, because of the way people now search and find information, it’s less likely they’ll land on your homepage first. Especially if you’re using SEO marketing.

6. You can design a website without knowing the content

Every part of the website’s design should work to showcase the content – not the other way around. Many businesses get so wrapped up in re-designing their website, they forget about how the content will fit into the design. The content should be a web designer’s primary concern, as it’s what affects the user’s experience.

We worked with leading UK law firm Burges Salmon to design their new, content-driven Sitecore website. Based on research of key user tasks, we delivered UX design that helped them reach conversion goals.

7. Users aren’t likely to scroll down the page

The myth that “users find scrolling tedious” has been around since websites moved from single page, static ads in the mid-nineties. Since then, scrolling and other interactive features have made websites more accessible and engaging. And users find it completely natural to scroll, especially on mobile devices. When you force users to click through multiple pages for a full article, it’s unsettling. Users want to be able to see exactly how much content they’re dealing with. They don’t mind a longer piece, if it’s laid out in a considered way and the content is engaging.

8. Graphics are the best way to grab the readers’ attention

A picture may be worth a thousand words. But it’s not a substitute for good quality text and links. Flashy graphics aren’t as eye-catching as you might think. Users can find them distracting and off-putting. What they want is relevant and interesting text. That’s where they’ll look for the information they need. If you use too many graphics in the place of quality text, users will catch on quickly and dismiss your website as spam.

9. Aesthetics are not as important, if you have good usability

Despite what we’ve said about usability over flash, aesthetics is still important. Some UX experts claim that a website can still be successful if it’s unattractive. But others disagree, finding that users can be quickly put off by a complicated, old-fashioned or boring website aesthetic. Even though this shouldn’t be your main priority, the look of your site is still important. And it’s often the first impression users get of your brand. So, our advice is keep it simple and make sure your website reflects your brand positively.

10. White space is wasted space

Web designers who don’t give enough thought to spacing will create websites that look cluttered and unprofessional. It’s a common misconception that you should be filling the page with as many details as you can. The truth is, white space is like breathing room for readers. It helps make your content more readable, pleasing to the eye and helps showcase content.

Our approach to UX design

Our approach to UX design works alongside visual design for the best results. We work with you to establish business goals and user personas, before attempting any wireframes or visuals. Wireframes help us to map out a build to make sure it’s functional, with a secure information architecture. But mostly, we make sure it’s going to showcase the content well and help task completion.

We aim for a completely adaptive, responsive design. So, you can meet your users’ needs and lead them down the purchase path. We’ve delivered UX design for enterprise level customers, such as Burges SalmonFormica, Saint Gobain, Fairtrade and Welsh Water.

To find out how a UX design approach could benefit your business, get in touch.