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For example, Google would just be another search engine amongst others if UX would not have been the bottom line. They invest relentlessly in the best search algorithms that ensure relevant results and optimal sorting for their users while keeping the interface clean and simple.

These days practically all products, services and information are instantly available online. Therefore the biggest challenge is to hold the attention of your (potential) customers and to lead them through the process of conversion.

We talk the UX talk, but do we walk the UX walk?

According to a study amongst 1.000 professionals, 95% agreed with the statement that ‘good user experience just makes sense. On the other hand, the same report showed that only 55% of the companies were doing online UX testing.

This shows a significant gap between companies talking about UX and actually placing UX at the center of their business strategy and growth efforts, which may point out a lack of understanding of what UX design is and its effective results.

Can I go without UX design?

In the long run, UX design is the best approach to support your product’s evolution. Sure, it is possible to build a product or service without paying attention to UX design, but the real question is: can you afford it?

A long-standing truth is that 80% of the maintenance costs are generated by unforeseen user requirements. Moreover, it takes up to 50% of a developer’s time to remake work because of the flaws discovered after product launch. Investing in UX design from the start of your project can avoid many flaws that lead to extra costs after release.

6 Common UX design pitfalls

If you presume that you are improving your website or app based on your users’ needs but as a result your conversion rates are decreasing, it is likely that you’ve fallen into one or more of the UX design pitfalls:

  1. False Consensus Effect
    In other words: the tendency to presume that your own needs, expectations and opinions are the same as those of your customers. I have seen many senior executives manage their digital products or services exclusively based on their own vision, perhaps consulting their peers if they would need a second opinion. No real user behavior analysis, no tests on real users, no data to back up important business decisions.
  2. Not doing initial research
    Knowing the market trends, analyzing the competition, knowing your users’ profiles, these all should translate into quantity and quality metrics that will help you design your product focusing on your customers’ ease of use.
  3. Focusing on Visual Design
    With so many visual designers turning into UX Designers overnight it is only normal to expect them to deliver a top-notch user-journey. In reality, if you don’t go through all the phases of the UX design, you may end up with a nice interface, but zero added value to your users’ experiences.
  4. Testing on too many or too few users
    If you have taken the wise decision to test your products with real users, your first impulse might be to gather as many users as possible in order to generate enough feedback. As common sense as it may sound, testing on many users could prove counterproductive. Dr. Jakob Nielsen, co-founder of a leading UX consulting firm, says that it takes no more than 5 users to unveil about 85% of your usability problems. If you increase this to 15 users, chances are that you will have a 360° view of your product’s flaws. For cost-effectiveness and ease of processing users’ feedback, Dr. Nielsen strongly advises choosing to test in three cycles on maximum 5 users rather than doing one-time testing on 15 users.
  5. Reinventing the wheel
    Unless you are already a well-established name in your industry who can afford the luxury to be a trend-setter, don’t try to change users’ browsing patterns. Your attempt may backfire and deter them from using your website or app.
  6. Be trendy for no real reason
    On the other hand, don’t embrace a trend just because everybody else is doing it. The standard hamburger menu for instance, which helped save space for menu items, was also adopted by websites that didn’t have any extra items to show and no space challenges to overcome.