UX Design myths

Here are just some common UX design myths I hear often.

1. People don’t scroll.

I once worked with someone who was clearly living in 1999 when they were adamant that people don’t scroll on websites so it was crucial that the entire contents of a website needed to be ‘above the fold’; as if websites were newspapers.  This meant that all of the content, images, entry form (if there was one) needed to be within the 800px height (at the time) for all browsers.

This just isn’t true.

When was the last time you checked your Facebook or Twitter feed and just stopped when it loaded.  Hell, people often scroll before it’s even fully loaded – we all do it.  Online experiences are completely different from print which is why some Graphic Designers don’t translate to Web or UI/UX design that well.

Rather than make everything fit into the top of your web page, just make sure that certain principles are followed and ensure your visitors are interested in your content.

Here are also a couple of facts to back this up:

  1. On mobile, half of all users start scrolling within 10 seconds, and 90% within 14 seconds – Luke Wroblewski
  2. SURL conducted a usability study that confirms people scroll naturally on search result pages
  3. Milissa Tarquini found that the most clicked link on the homepage is at the very bottom, spite their position

2. You don’t need the actual content to design a website

I get asked this all the time.  Often when I’m doing contract work and agencies work in a very fast-paced way, sometimes they need the design to lead the project for whatever reason.  This does not work – let me tell you why.

Lorum ipsum text of ‘dummy text’ cannot replace the key information that you will have on your website or app.  When you design something the right way, content is what you will be designing.   The client also sees this issue when they fake text gets replaced with their actual content and they see that (for example) the page is far too long, it doesn’t look as good because there are too many paragraph breaks – it just looks wrong.

3. Accessibility is expensive and hard

Ok, let me give you an example of one thing you can do to improve the accessibility of your website.  Whenever you upload an image on your website, make sure you add in an alt tag of what the image is.  For example.  If I’m uploading a photo of cake, put ‘kids birthday cake’ or whatever it is.  This allows screen readers – which is used by people who have vision impairment to know what that image is of.   And.. if that wasn’t easy enough, by doing that you also improved your SEO !

4. Design is about making a website look good

Art and Design are completely different.  Art does not need to have a functional purpose whereas visual design, digital design need to make things easy to communicate so when I hear non-designers say a website needs to look good they mean it needs to look functional so you can make those key conversions.

5. White space is wasted space

Some of the sites that I’ve worked on that get the most compliments are the ones that have the most white space and is focused purely on the content.   White space allows people to visually breathe and take in the content and make the key decisions they need to make that conversion.  Gone are the days where we’re bombarding people with flashy animated gifs and even flash banners.  K.I.R.S – keep it really simple.

And there you have it, just a few of the common UX design myths that I hear on a regular basis.

Stay informed,

Tania Richardson web designer.

10+ years as a product designer. Helping start-ups and organisations combine user research and design principals to deliver the best in online experiences.

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