By Megan Wilson, Quality Assurance and UX Specialist, WalkMe
There are a lot of articles out there about how to create a great user experience. There are however, almost none that tell you how to create a bad user experience.
You might wonder why anyone would ever want to know how to torpedo their own website. This is not about that. Certainly no one would create a terrible user experience on purpose. What we are aiming at here is a learning exercise. This article is here to serve as your guide for creating the most frustrating, confusing, least navigable and ultimately the worst possible user experience. This is your guide on how to do everything wrong.
Here are five tips for creating the worst user experience possible.
1. Design Your UX to Please the Development Team, Not the User
When designing the worst user experience possible, remember that the most important people to think about are you and your design team. If you have a wacky idea, especially one that will make things more confusing, just go ahead and use it. Your focus should be on making an experience that you think looks cool. If the users do not agree with you, it is because they do not know what they are talking about. Do not bother with consulting target demos or research to find out how your user experience is working. Users are not developers and therefore their opinions are useless.
2. Use as Much Text as Possible
It is important to write as much as you can when explaining your business to the user. More information is always better, especially if it is highly technical. Use small fonts and eliminate spacing to cram in as much text as possible. The goal should be to have the user zoom in to actually read what you wrote, adding another step to their experience. The important thing is that you wrote everything you wanted. You want users to sit down and really take the time to learn about your business. Why sell to anyone less than an expert?
Gartner Analysts remind us of the big picture: “Perhaps the most common design mistake on an organization’s home page is yielding to demands from various corners of the organization for “real estate” on the page — modules, navigation menu items, etc. The company website then becomes a reflection of “squeaky wheel” priorities, and becomes detached from user needs.”
3. Do Not Even Worry About a Mobile Site
The website that your business designed might work great on mobile devices or it might not. Either way, it is not your problem. You made sure that the user experience worked online, so you cannot be expected to think about mobile too. Everyone knows smartphones are a fad anyway. If your users really want to use your site, let them do it on a desktop computer. Besides, a study by Econsultancy found that 62% of businesses that designed a website specifically for mobile had increased sales, and since we are set on designing the worst user experience, we want to keep our sales as low as possible.
4. Load Up Your Website with Ads
This tip is based on a simple equation: more ads equal more ad revenue. Some of these ads might distract from the content of your website or even interfere with certain processes, but that’s ok. Just think of all those sweet ad revenue dollars rolling in. After using this tactic for a while, you will probably have to add even more ads to make up for the user traffic you drove off, but do not worry about that. There is always room for more ads. When the space on your homepage is gone, endless popups are a great way to sell more space, when space is at a premium.
5. Forget About User Support
The simple truth about designing the worst user experience possible is that if the users cannot figure something out, it is because they are stupid. There are no problems with the website. It works great. All of the information is on there in some place or another, so all the user has to do is look. You went to the trouble of designing a user experience, so is it crazy to ask the user to put in a little effort for once? The bottom line is that any problems users have are their fault, so you should not be expected to try and solve them.
By following these steps, you will be well on your way to delivering a truly horrendous user experience. You will have users running in fear from your indecipherable interfaces, walls of text and non-existent support. Alternatively, you could do the opposite of what these steps suggest to create a great user experience, but where is the fun in that?
Image courtesy of jesadephorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net