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Building trust with customers is the cornerstone of any business’s marketing strategy.  In previous posts we’ve mentioned the importance of UX design for businesses and how a well-made website can inspire consumer confidence and loyalty. Now we want to take a look at how businesses and designers shouldn’t use UX design, we believe that there should be ethics in the application of web design. The term “Dark Pattern” refers to a user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing terms such as buying insurance with your purchase or signing up for recurring bills. It’s a fairly new term in the world of design and was first coined by UX designer Harry Brignull in 2010, who sought to raise awareness of this issue among designers and users so that we could all enjoy a higher standard from the websites we use.  Here we’d just like to highlight the most common Dark Patterns used by companies to manipulate users so that you can avoid them in your own designs and achieve success without manipulating your users in nefarious ways. Here are some of the most prevalent patterns in modern websites:

 

Roachmotel

A roach motel is a pest control trap that is easy for the roach to get in but impossible to get out. Think of any time you’ve tried to delete a social media account; the sign-up process was so easy but the delete account button is hidden behind walls of drop-down menus at the bottom of pages or aren’t visible at all. Concealing any feature on a website is a bad sign, everything on the site should be easily accessible with a few clicks and you shouldn’t have to go searching for it.

Bait-and-Switch

Bait-and-Switch patterns advertise a free or greatly reduced price for a product or service that is unavailable. After announcing the product is unavailable the page presents similar products of a higher price or lower quality. This is a case of flagrant false advertising.

 

Misdirection

This design purposely focuses your attention on one thing in order to distract your attention from another. This is extremely common in software installation where the user when downloading a program sees a prominent button asking to accept the terms and conditions of an unrelated software program. The process for installing the desired program with the unrelated program is less prominently displayed or else seems counter intuitive. There should be no misdirection in UX design, users should always know what they’re getting.

Confirmshaming

This is a form of guilt tripping the user into opting into something. For example, the wording of the option to decline is phrased in such a way as to shame the user into compliance.

Privacy Zuckering

 Named in honour of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. This design pattern tricks the user into sharing more information about yourself than you really intended to.  This can be done by concealing the data terms and conditions or making them difficult to find.

 

We believe that you should always interact with your users in an honest and open way. UX Design is a powerful tool in which you control all aspects of the users experience and interaction with the site, you must use this power with respect. If you use these patterns you will be tricking and manipulating your users, you’ll destroy any trust between you and your users. We should all demand a higher standard from our websites and the first step towards this is educating users.

 

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UX ‘‘User Experience’’ has become a popular buzz word in recent years when the topic of websites comes up. We often hear adjectives like “flashy” and “dynamic” used to describe UX by advisers and agencies who claim an increasing amount of money and time must be spent on UX. But what is UX and why is it so important for websites?

UX stands for User Experience, it is how users interact and feel about a website. Users often decide on their feelings on a site based on the visuals of a site and its usability. A website is a business’ calling card and the first point of contact many customers have with a business so that interaction should always be an easy and pleasant experience. While there are hundreds of complicated tutorials on how to make the perfect website, this doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Moving forward with a UX project for any business a few key points should be kept in mind.

Visuals

This category includes photos, colour scheme and the typography of any text. These three elements need to come together to form a coherent tone a feel for the website. Look at any fashion website, it will have many photos front and centre with bright colours on the banner and an elegant typography. Contrast this with a bank website and you can see it seems plainer with a muted colour palette, maybe one or two colours, the typography is more formal and professional.
A general rule of thumb for colour schemes is to keep to two or three colours, in this regard less is more.

Usability

Using a website should be an easy experience, everything should be clearly laid out and visible. A key part of UX is planning and categorizing the information on the site so that a new user can find anything on the site in less than three clicks. Good planning is important for avoiding a cluttered website that is difficult to navigate.
If your website requires greater functionality such as a sign-up process or a shopping cart planning is key to making it as simple as possible. Look at Netflix’s sign-up and payment process it uses three simple pages with a simple design to keep the process as simple as possible and each page leads to the next stage of the sign-up process.

Interaction

Technology for websites is constantly updating and advancing all the time. The landing pages of websites are becoming more interactive all the time, chat bots, animations, quizzes and upload features. These features can add a sense of fun to a website and offer an opportunity to interact with customer and build a rapport.

Compatibility

Most people access websites through mobile phones. Making the website functional and navigable on a phone is a difficult challenge for web developers, the view of the website needs to scale to be easily visible on different screen sizes and must function as normal on different search engines, on different types of phones. Website should be updated periodically to maintain their compatibility. This is a key area that cannot be ignored if customer engagement with a site is to be maintained

UX is a constantly evolving field with new trend emerging in all aspects. More developers are making the switch into full time UX development so there is a huge pool of talent to draw from. However, with new tools it’s all easier and cheaper than ever to create a website. Whichever road a business takes to create a website’s UX the points above should be kept in mind at all stages of the design process.

 

 

 

 

 

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UX ‘‘User Experience’’ has become a popular buzz word in recent years when the topic of websites comes up. We often hear adjectives like “flashy” and “dynamic” used to describe UX by advisers and agencies who claim an increasing amount of money and time must be spent on UX. But what is UX and why is it so important for websites?

UX stands for User Experience, it is how users interact and feel about a website. Users often decide on their feelings on a site based on the visuals of a site and its usability. A website is a business’ calling card and the first point of contact many customers have with a business so that interaction should always be an easy and pleasant experience. While there are hundreds of complicated tutorials on how to make the perfect website, this doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Moving forward with a UX project for any business a few key points should be kept in mind.

Visuals

This category includes photos, colour scheme and the typography of any text. These three elements need to come together to form a coherent tone a feel for the website. Look at any fashion website, it will have many photos front and centre with bright colours on the banner and elegant typography. Contrast this with a bank website and you can see it seems plainer with a muted colour palette, maybe one or two colours, the typography is more formal and professional.
A general rule of thumb for colour schemes is to keep to two or three colours, in this regardless is more.

Usability

Using a website should be an easy experience, everything should be clearly laid out and visible. A key part of UX is planning and categorizing the information on the site so that a new user can find anything on the site in less than three clicks. Good planning is important for avoiding a cluttered website that is difficult to navigate.
If your website requires greater functionality such as a sign-up process or a shopping cart planning is key to making it as simple as possible. Look at Netflix’s sign-up and payment process it uses three simple pages with a simple design to keep the process as simple as possible and each page leads to the next stage of the sign-up process.

Interaction

Technology for websites is constantly updating and advancing all the time. The landing pages of websites are becoming more interactive all the time, chatbots, animations, quizzes and upload features. These features can add a sense of fun to a website and offer an opportunity to interact with customer and build a rapport.

Compatibility

Most people access websites through mobile phones. Making the website functional and navigable on a phone is a difficult challenge for web developers, the view of the website needs to scale to be easily visible on different screen sizes and must function as normal on different search engines, on different types of phones. A website should be updated periodically to maintain its compatibility. This is a key area that cannot be ignored if customer engagement with a site is to be maintained

UX is a constantly evolving field with a new trend emerging in all aspects. More developers are making the switch into full-time UX development so there is a huge pool of talent to draw from. However, with new tools, it’s all easier and cheaper than ever to create a website. Whichever road a business takes to create a website’s UX the points above should be kept in mind at all stages of the design process.

 

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