If there’s one way to ensure that visitors never return to your website or share your links on social media, it’s to ensure that their user experience will be poignantly terrible. There are a variety of ways one can ruin a user’s online expedition, but a few of these methods are inadvertently used by naive web designers who are unaware of their mistakes. The following article details a few examples of how developers might accidentally sabotage the user experience of their potential customers.
Use generic stock photos
Imagine this outrageous, hypothetical situation: Your company’s website attracts a visitor. The visitor decides to peruse the “about us” page before reaching a decision to take your business seriously and whether to collaborate with your team. This particular visitor might reasonably expect that your company employs real, unique, individual people. Now imagine the visitor’s confusion and discomfort when he or she is greeted by a painfully generic stock photo of bland, smiling, middle-aged office drones.
Generally, internet users tend to ignore pictures of people if they judge them to be unreal or disingenuous. Adding stock photos of corporate office employees creates a jarring disconnect between your visitors’ feasible assumptions and their perceived reality. When your viewers notice that your company’s website displays stock images rather than actual pictures of your actual employees, your brand might be identified as untrustworthy, or “scammy.”
Using custom photographs will ensure that you have the perfect picture to convey the right message for your website. Furthermore, showing the faces of your company allows visitors to establish an immediate connection; if they do decide to contact your company, they will already have an idea of who they’re speaking with.
Add unnecessarily complex interfaces
Sometimes creators will add interesting and unique design elements to their websites in order to craft a memorable user experience for intended visitors. Adding a personal flair to one’s intellectual property isn’t objectively wrong — occasionally a strategic creative touch can certainly lead to glorious results — but many times designers fail to understand that each addition detracts from the simplicity of the website’s overall navigability.
Looking good is absolutely part of a website’s user experience, but a website that is both visually appealing and easy to use makes for an excellent visitor engagement. Visitors who are unable to efficiently navigate a good-looking website are susceptible to the aesthetic-usability effect, and may feel discouraged from coming back for a second chance.
Include an awful search engine
If a search engine within your website is unable to account for variations of search query terms, additional punctuation, incorrect spelling, or pluralizations, it may put a screeching halt to your visitors’ exploration. In other cases, search engines might prioritize results based on the number of query terms contained within the page, rather than listing pages in order of importance. Search engines should typically list their “best guesses” at the top of the results lists, especially when users are searching for a company’s products or services.
Need help creating a killer user interface? MEDiAHEAD offers everything you need to fully communicate and measure the impact of your message over print, email, online, and other new media outlets. Contact MEDiAHEAD today for more information about developing a web portal for managing an overall more effective campaign!