Flynnsights // December 15, 2022

Is Your Digital User Experience Hurting Your Bottom Line?

How to avoid costly UX pitfalls

Matt D’Angelo

Matt D’Angelo

Creative Director

Improving a brand’s online user experience (UX) often directly leads to increases in customer satisfaction and sales. Quality (or better yet, enjoyable) user experiences typically translate to a higher likelihood of converting a visitor into a buyer, and an occasional purchaser into a long-term customer.

Designer Peter Morville, a pioneer in UX and information architecture (IA), wrote that a brand’s UX must be seven things: useful, usable, desirable, findable, accessible, credible, and valuable. To help your brand’s UX live up to as many of these attributes as possible, here are some common pitfalls to avoid.

Peter Morville's seven aspects of good user experiences

1. Poor accessibility

Is everyone able to interact with your brand in ways that suit individual abilities, education, and background? If not, your UX may inadvertently alienate entire groups of customers.

Think of it this way: how likely are you to shop at a store that makes you climb a 20-foot rock wall to enter? This may be, for example, how a customer with eyesight limitations may perceive a brand that uses very small text on its website. Adaptations for the differently abled aren’t just ethically sound, they’re good for business—and can help you avoid costly lawsuits.

The overwhelming amount of choice presented while browsing Netflix

2. Information overload

Ever spent nearly as long browsing Netflix for a movie to watch as you spent watching the movie itself? Too many options and too much information presented at decision time can make selection more difficult.

Similarly, too much information too soon in the customer journey may turn visitors off. Author Leslie O’Flahavan coined the “bite, snack, and meal” approach to writing user-centered web content, which aims to give users the right amount of information for where they are in their decision journey.

Translating this to your brand’s online UX, for first-time site visitors, consider teasing up small selections of content or product highlights before bombarding users with your complete catalog. Repeat visitors may appreciate more detailed content that assumes a level of familiarity with the brand or products.

Speed bumps

3. Speed bumps

You’ve likely been asked to consent to cookies at least once today. You’ve also probably dismissed a pop-up asking you to subscribe to a brand’s newsletter. These pop-up requests, often presented to site visitors as soon as they land on the homepage, add friction to the UX, which negatively impacts conversion.

Instead, consider a cookie consent request with an easy-to-identify version of “no thank you, don’t track me.” Or why not ask visitors to opt in to emails in exchange for a discount during checkout? By surfacing these requests at a point in the journey when shoppers are already turning over some personal info, you’re minimizing annoyance while improving your ability to build vital customer data.

A typical junk drawer

4. Poor architecture and post-launch sprawl

Rubber bands, soy sauce packets, twist ties from every loaf of bread you’ve ever purchased—we all have a junk drawer. Your website’s structure or IA shouldn’t make visitors feel like they’re sifting through yours. You likely launched with the best of intentions, but your site began to sprawl when new content didn’t cleanly fit into any existing content categories. Maybe the organizing principles behind your IA aren’t structured in a way customers would think to look for your content. Or does your site’s search functionality only return results that contain the exact searched phrase, without accounting for misspellings or alternate phrasings? Google has spoiled us over the last two decades, so our expectations for search are high. No matter how advanced you believe your design and site architecture are, it’s critical that you consider your visitors’ point of view. Testing a limited beta site with potential users can help you avoid costly pitfalls.

Maximizing your chances for success

All these UX issues are avoidable. If they’re already causing problems, they’re solvable. Make an honest assessment of your brand site or app that’s free from assumptions and attachments. That kind of objectivity and expertise is sometimes difficult to find within your own company—which is why working with a knowledgeable design and development partner with specialized experience in building an effective UX is so critical. The good news? Considering those are all things where Flynn excels, you’ve already found one.

Let's Chat

Ready for more peace in your marketing plan? Just give us a call or fill out the form and we’ll get back to you shortly.

Mallory Diamond

Director of Relationship Development

175 Sully’s Trail

Pittsford, NY 14534

Suite 100