5 User Experience Horror Stories You Need to Avoid

How many times have you come across a product that’s difficult to use? Believe it or not, the situation is quite common. But why does it happen? Simply because not enough consideration was given to user experience design during product development.

Sometimes a product is not only difficult to use, but it can also be frustrating and time-consuming. Usability errors in user experience are common because everyone makes mistakes from time to time. But some “mistakes” can cause greater damage than others.

These often appear as minor details and are designated as human errors. But occasionally, they can have major negative effects. User experience errors have led to very serious consequences, even death.

Most user experience horrors can be placed in five general categories. You should be very wary of replicating these horror stories in your UX and UI career. We’re sharing them with you here for future reference.

1. Not having visual consistency

First, let’s discuss the close connection between user experience design (UX) and interface design (UI). When an interface is visually confusing, the experience suffers, and usability is affected. For example, different buttons for each call to action, inconsistency in icon colors, or many variations of styles in graphics

 These visual errors interfere with a smooth, easy-to-understand user flow. The inconsistency creates frustration for the user, causing them to abandon the application, website or product without reaching their goal.

Avoid this horror story by using UIcons, illustrative icons and Flaticon design elements. Choose icons in the same style and color using the search engine, and then use the online editor to easily customize what you need. Maintain visual unity and avoid confusion with Flaticon.

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2. Not doing user and market research

Developing a product born from a “Big Idea” can work well and be successful. But not without doing some user research work before starting to develop. Going straight from idea to development can be the biggest mistake for a company. Don’t forget to ask at least the following questions before you take the leap:

    • How do you know if the idea is something people want?
  • Are you sure that this way of solving a problem is what people need?
  • Does a similar product already exist? Is it successful?
  • How can you tell if the user flow is smooth and enjoyable?

Remember this: the product developer is not the user, the interface designer is not the user, the investors are not the users, and the marketing team is not the users. 

Creating a product without prior research can lead to a total catastrophe which is not always easy to come back from.

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3. Launching without usability testing both before and after

Another mistake that can lead to horror in product development is not doing usability tests with real users before and after launching the product. If you don’t test, many details can slip through the cracks, creating usability problems that usually end in frustration or total disaster.

Launching an application without testing is like sending a rocket into space without ensuring it is safe for the astronauts. User testing should be carried out even during the development process when the product is still a prototype. And the situation is even worse if a prototype is never created!

It’s not just a matter of doing usability tests with users before launching; you also have to keep doing them regularly and thus improve the product according to what users really need. Never trust that a product is finished if you are the only person testing it.

4. Not taking accessibility into account

15% of the people in the world have some kind of disability. 90% of the world’s web pages are inaccessible to people who rely on assistive technology. 1 in 8 men worldwide are color-blind, and 1 in 200 women. 

Not taking accessibility into account in product development is a serious mistake. Not only do you decrease the number of people who can use your product, but you also lose credibility. 

Today, assistive technology for surfing the web and using applications is a huge business. Don’t forget the details that will make your product recognizable as something that anyone can use, and at the same time, show yourself to be empathetic. 

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5. Employing dark UX techniques

The shadiest example of user experience is the dark UX technique. Nothing is more horrific than an application or web page employing deceptive designs. Dark UX is called Dark Patterns, a practice where user experience design and interface work together to accomplish ethically dubious tasks. It could be compared to Clickbait, a way to trick the user into doing something that is not necessarily in their best interest. 

The most common examples of dark UX are:

  • Flows to deactivate an account or cancel a subscription that are hard to follow.
  • Buttons with confusing text that look like something they’re not.
  • Activity tracking in one app that affects other apps.
  • The collection of personal information under the guise of usability.

Your achievements in interface and experience design

The best way to grow your interface and experience design career is to remember the horror stories and avoid reproducing them in your projects. Remember that empathy and a deep understanding of users are more important than any “Big Idea.” 

Take advantage of the tools that Flaticon offers you and avoid horror stories in your experience design work.  By following these recommendations, you will not only improve your work, but you’ll also end up with better clients.