First impressions are made almost instantaneously and users have a plethora of choices at their fingertips. As such, creating a seamless and engaging online experience is more of a factor than ever. However, certain trends, while seemingly harmless at first glance, can actually be detrimental to user experience and ultimately hinder your online success.
Demanding users to perform actions like sign-ups or social media shares before accessing basic content is a surefire way to alienate your audience. This approach reeks of manipulation and creates unnecessary barriers to entry. Users are savvier than ever before, and they will quickly recognize these tactics for what they are: an attempt to extract value without providing any in return.
Focus on offering informative blog posts, engaging video tutorials, or interactive conversations that provide immediate value without imposing any obligations. With this you are demonstrating a commitment to user benefit, which will help you cultivate a positive association with your brand and encourage repeat visits.
2. Speaking for them
Another pitfall to avoid is speaking for your users. Utilizing pre-selected phrases or options that assume user preferences can be condescending and dismissive. For instance, including phrases like "No, I do not need free stuff" when prompting users for their email address implies a lack of self-respect on the part of the organization. It is just needlessly desperate.
Design your website with open-ended options and cater to diverse preferences. Implement robust user profiles that allow users to personalize their experience and receive targeted recommendations.
Imagine being asked the same question repeatedly in a conversation. It is frustrating, right? I mean it is probably frustrating, no? It comes across as frustrating, right? The same principle applies to website design. Bombarding users with identical requests for information is foolish and needy. That includes prompting users for contact details, email addresses, or other previously provided information. Not only does this indicate a lack of user data organization, but it also wastes valuable time and disrupts the user flow.
If you have to, use progressive profiling techniques that collect information gradually based on user interactions, minimizing the initial burden on users. Offer pre-filled forms based on previous user data or leverage social login options to streamline the registration process.
4. Artificial Scarcity
Creating a sense of artificial scarcity by displaying fake limited-time offers or countdown timers is one of the most common ways of manipulating people. Again this one is also very evidently foolish, since it will likely immediately backfire. Completely sinks any goodwill you might have accrued.
Any way you slice it, transparency and clear communication are key to building user trust and achieving legitimate, sustainable success. Avoiding doing stuff like this is the bare minimum, but people are still tempted to do it because everyone seems to be doing it. Well, if we need more people to do x for it to work, not doing x because other people are not doing it also, makes no sense.
5. Artificial Instant Obstacles
Intrusive pop-ups, autoplay videos, and disruptive banner ads that immediately block user access to content are major roadblocks on the path to a positive user experience. These instant obstructions impede user flow and create frustration, leading users to abandon the website or app altogether.
Design your online presence with user goals in mind. Prioritize content accessibility and minimize the use of disruptive elements. If additional information or offers are necessary, present them in a non-intrusive manner that respects user time and allows them to navigate without constantly running into annoyances.