Four Critical Usability Errors That are Turning Away Your Users

Jarniel Cataluña

Author & Editor

Senior Software Engineer

Published on: Dec 1, 2022 Updated on: May 28, 2024

Oops. Made a few usability errors during development? Let's work on fixing it.

In mobile app or website design and development, user experience (UX) design plays an important role in keeping your customers happy.

Happy customers mean more conversions, be it in the online or offline world.

But because there's a lot that goes on in mobile or website development, many of you will end up making costly errors that turn away customers instead of impressing them. And while fixing them belatedly saves your butt, avoiding them should have been your first and only goal.

Four critical usability errors to avoid at all costs

Easy as they are to avoid, many will still make these errors. So you're not making any errant decisions, we urge you to read about these and study them so you can avoid them.

1. Not being mobile-friendly.

In today's day and age, it's more important than ever to have a website or app that looks good and functions well on mobile devices. With over half of internet traffic coming from mobile devices, you can't afford to alienate mobile users.

Fortunately, making your site mobile-friendly is relatively easy; if you're using a content management system like Wordpress, there are plenty of mobile-friendly themes to choose from. You should also make sure that your site loads quickly on mobile devices; according to Google, 53% of mobile users will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.

Tips for making mobile-friendly websites

When it comes to developing mobile-friendly websites, there are a few things you can do to make sure your website is accessible to as many people as possible.

First, use a responsive design framework that will automatically adjust the layout of your website based on the size of the screen it's being viewed on. You can also use media queries to specifically target certain devices or screen sizes.

Second, make sure your website loads quickly on mobile devices. You can do this by using compression techniques like gzip compression, and by optimizing your images for web use.

Third, use fonts and icons that are easy to see on small screens. And lastly, test your website on a variety of different devices and screen sizes to make sure it looks and functions correctly.

2. Making your users register before they can use the site or app.

Unless you're running a membership-based website or app, there's no reason to make users register before they can use your site or app.

Forcing users to create an account just so they can do something as simple as reading an article or looking at a product can be extremely off-putting, and it may cause them to leave your site altogether.

If you must collect user data, allow visitors to do so without requiring them to create an account.

Better ways to collect user data online

One way is to use cookies. Cookies are small files that are stored on a user's computer, and they can be used to track a user's activity on your website. This can be used to gather information like the user's name, email address, or what pages they've visited.

Another way to collect user data is by using forms. You can create forms that allow users to provide their information without having to create an account.

You can also use third-party services like Google Analytics or Mixpanel to track user data. These services allow you to track things like how long a user spends on your website, where they came from, and what pages they visit. This information can be used to improve your website and make sure it's meeting your users' needs.

3. Having a cluttered or confusing layout.

A well-designed website should be easy for users to navigate; if your website is cluttered or confusing, visitors will likely become frustrated and leave. When designing your website, think about how you can arrange the content in a way that makes sense and is easy for users to find what they're looking for.

You should also consider using whitespace appropriately to break up content and make it easier to scan. Refer to the following basic user interface design principles when planning your layout:

  • Clarity
  • Familiarity
  • User Control
  • Hierarchy
  • Negative space
  • Flexibility
  • Accessibility

4. Failing to test your site before launch.

Before launching your website or app, it's important to test it out thoroughly yourself and/or with a group of beta testers. This will help you identify any potential usability issues so that you can fix them before launch.

Additionally, once your site is live, continue to test it on an ongoing basis and make improvements as necessary; even small changes can have a big impact on usability.

Key takeaways

Usability errors are one of the simplest yet most costly mistakes you can make. Strive to avoid them at all times through:

  • Proper planning. The majority of the development and design errors you make are due to a lack of proper planning. Make sure to iron out all the details of your projects in kick-off meetings.
  • Keeping each other accountable. And police each other’s work. Yes, there are quality assurance specialists for that, but the more eyes checking work the better you commit to avoiding errors.
  • Mind your tasks. With the help of checklists and task tracking tools. This allows you to keep a tab on everything that needs to be done so you don’t miss a thing.

What’s the worst development error you’ve encountered and how did you fix them? Tell us about it on Facebook, X, and LinkedIn. We’d love to learn from you as well.

For more tips on how to avoid these kinds of errors in web and mobile app development and UX design, make sure to subscribe to the Propelrr newsletter.