Common UI Mistakes
Here is my collection of common User Interface and Application Design mistakes to avoid.
Improper hand-off between 2 Applications
This often happens on Job Boards, where you are asked to register or provide certain information on one site, only to be asked to register and provide exactly the same information on another site.
Wrong Input Type
Here is another example related to job applications, taken from Resume submission form on CBC.ca website.
If there can be only one answer to the question, then check boxes is a wrong choice for this form. It’s strange to see this mistake over and over on so many websites. It tells me this particular form wasn’t ever tested on users, because the first person submitting this form would have a puzzled look on their face answering this question.
Difficult to Read Text
This is really a basic guideline for anyone doing UI work – Text has to be Readable!
- NO CAPS on more than 2 short words!
- Font size has to be big enough so people would be able to read it without moving their faces closer to the screen.
- There has to be enough contrast between the text and the background, so text would stand out instead of blending in with the background.
This example was taken from optimohats.com – a nicely designed site for hats. Though it’s very interactive and looks attractive, it’s almost entirely done in Flash. That might be even bigger problem for their site (from SEO perspective) than difficult to read text that I’ve encountered.
For further reading – Jacob Nielsen wrote a pretty good post on common Application Mistakes back in 2009, though everything still applies today.
Tiny Text fields on Forms
As if they are paying for every line added to a text field, this site offers users such a small box for them to type their message that it’s impossible to fit even one sentence in it.
If you try to drag corners of the field to make it bigger, you actually might drag it outside the visible screen of the pop-up. That’s a problem too, as now you can’t see half of your copy or that corner that you could drag.
Image credit: Toms Baugis