5 UX Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make

I’m a UX designer helping people on a mission tell their story. I do that because, not being a doctor or a teacher, my work isn’t going to be meaningful unless I consciously make it so.

I frequently come across easily preventable mistakes that are seriously damaging conversion opportunities. But I don’t want to just shine a light on the effing obvious. I want to tell you why it matters, how users think.

However, this article should come with a warning. I, too, might have overlooked your context. The same applies to what users might think. So don’t treat this article as an “I know better” kind of piece. But I think it’s still a good starting point if you’re trying to improve the user experience on your website.

1. Featuring unavailable videos

What I assume has happened on your side

You might not have noticed the video isn’t available anymore. Or maybe it’s not available to “some” countries only. Or maybe you don’t want to remove it because it’s going to leave a weird empty space on your homepage. And also, you’ve got no clue what to replace it with. We’ve all been there. But, you should still fix it.

What users might think

The problem with users is that you should never expect tolerance or patience from them. The Internet offers way too many alternatives so most people won’t bother with a clunky interface. If they land on your site and see that the only video you’re featuring isn’t available, they’ll be disappointed. Worse, they might think the rest of your site has more issues. Or maybe they’ll simply think it’s not working for them and there’s nothing they can do about it. Either way, they’re going to leave your site. And you don’t want that.

2. Not having a newsletter

What I assume is your reason

My guess is you don’t have a solid content strategy or you don’t have the resources. Both are valid reasons not to make false promises.

What users might think

Potential donors have various reasons to support your charity. One of them is ego. They want to feel like they’re doing something to help underprivileged populations. But if you want money to keep coming back, you need to tell them about your progress on the ground. It’s not enough to say “we’ll use the funds for food, malaria prevention, education and agriculture”. People relate to human stories. They want to hear what’s happened with the money they’re sending each month. Having a newsletter makes you accountable and it also helps you focus on your objectives. You know what people expect so you’re going to make sure your efforts are properly tracked and reported on. Which isn’t to say you should only tell them about happy endings. Life happens. And you might actually need more help. If you’re already in contact with your donors, and they expect to hear from you regularly, then you’ve got a better chance to get their attention.

3. Treating your website like an encyclopedia

What I assume is your reason

You are deeply committed to your cause and you want to make sure everyone knows you’re taking things seriously. So you have lots to tell. After all, the more people know, the more likely they are to help in turn, right? But the way it usually translates is a multitude of pages and busy sub-menus. No user wants to have to navigate through all that. The journey needs to be as simple as possible.

What users might think

I hate to break it to you but very few people will actually read what’s on your site. Our attention span is collapsing over time. So let’s make things easier. Who is your audience? Are they potential donors, volunteers, social workers or victims? Once you know who you have something to offer to, you’ll know how to organise your content. If all you’re trying to do is raise funds, you really just need two kinds of pages:

  • An about page explaining who’s behind the charity and how it started
  • A donation page explaining how funds are going to be used

Your contact details need to be easily accessible. A newsletter would be great. And if you post news on social media, be sure to include the links to those profiles.

Of course, there might be many other actions you’re doing and that simplistic format can’t apply to everyone. But it’s important to remember this before you create yet another page and add it to your menu. They don’t all have to be on the menu.

4. Broken links

What I assume has happened

A little bit like unavailable YouTube videos, I assume you’ve not noticed the link was broken. It happens to the best of us. Me, most of all it seems. Another maddening thing is to direct users to social media main pages rather than your own profile. Don’t do that.

What users might think

Broken links damage your reputation. And I’m not just talking about your credibility. Google also ranks your site lower if you have too many broken links. A good idea if you’re working with WordPress is to use plugins to automatically detect broken links on your site so you can fix it in real-time.

5. Dead social media accounts

Twitter

Twitter

What I assume has happened here

You were told you needed social media so you opened an Instagram account your niece offered to manage for a while, a Twitter account because why not, a LinkedIn page because most people you know have one and maybe even Facebook because you could tell your friends about what you do.

What users might think of it

Every social media account you create is a promise to the world that you know what you’re doing and that you’re going to talk about it. Social proof is everything.

Imagine this scenario. I’m a potential donor who lands on your website because I want to sponsor a kid to go to school. But there’s so much information on your site, I don’t really want to read it all right now. Instead, I might give you a chance to convince me from social media. So, I’ll check your Twitter account. But when I get there, I see you’ve got no followers and the last time you tweeted was the day you created your account back in 1975. I’m not going to give you another chance. Instead, I’ll focus on more proactive accounts to keep me updated. And because I’ve already left your site, there’s nothing more you can do about this.

So be careful about which social media account you open and what it means not to take care of it. If you don’t have the resources to manage your accounts, it’s best to delete them or, at the very least, not feature them on your website.

 

🙏 Thanks for reading! Have a question or a project you’d like to discuss? Book a call or email me. I can help you convert your website visitors to donors or volunteers and make sure it’s an engaging place to visit.

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